Digging Deep

Today I learn from the neighborhood children all of their digging stories.  Children seem to have lots of these:  digging in sand; digging in dirt; digging in snow.  They report the treasures they’ve unearthed in the form of bones and shells and marbles and old pennies.

“If you dig deep enough, you will find something,” a little girl tells me.  She explains that once, last summer, she struck water just by digging and digging.

I recall my own tendency to dig as a child.  Finding worms, I admit, was a particular delight.  But I also believed that I would find buried treasure if only I kept digging.  And usually, I actually did.  I’d get to a layer of earth and find what I thought was magnificent:  a piece of turtle shell, a strangely shaped stone (an arrowhead?), or an old piece of twine. 

This instinct to dig stays with me, even today, as I work to turn up beauty.  It does feel like excavation.  There’s a layer down deep that holds the day’s treasures.  I think of analogies–of symbols–that things I encounter might represent.  It’s as if a spiritual current runs beneath this dust and dirt of life.  Dig deep enough, and you strike water. 

We just keep digging, and it’s surely there.  

Journal:  The Great Awakening preacher, Jonathan Edwards, practiced the art of analogy–or making connections between the natural world and a spiritual truth.  What else do I see today that helps me, by analogy, understand something about God?

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  1. oh that reminds me of a wonderful memory! When my kids were about 7 and 4, they spent one summer afternoon digging in the backyard. Finally, they were called inside to clean up, eat dinner, and get ready for bed. That night, my husband built a rough box and we filled it with coins and buried it in the bottom of their hole. When they went out to their hole the next day, they were sure they had found Indian treasure! They were certain the Indians had traded arrowheads for “white-man's coins”! 🙂

  2. Heather –

    I loved this post. It's amazing what I learn about Jesus and His kingdom if I am willing to see things in a way that allows me to go deep. I think I miss a lot by not digging like you suggest here.

    This post hit me just right this week and prompted me to write about a similar subject myself, linking back here to you in a little project I started called “There and Back Again.” It's my way of getting to know other bloggers in the High Calling Network and trying to enter into a conversation a little more deeply. Here's a link if you'd like to pop over and see where I took this. If you'd like to join in yourself, I'm trying to create a “carnival” out of it. Just pick a post by someone in the Network, and run with it!

    I come here often, to your little neck of the woods, and am so often ministered to by your words.


  3. Love the images and memories this evokes. Of course, I remember the proverbial digging to China in my backyard. Never did get much further than Texas, though.

    It's an interesting connection, too . . . I remember hearing that it's been reported we lack certain minerals in our bodies these days because we don't come into direct contact with the soil like the generations before us did. In fact, we not only miss out on minerals, but we keep our hands so sterilized that we cause our bodies to over-react to neutral stimuli, thus increasing our propensity to allergies and sickness. I suppose that's an additional layer to ponder along with your post.

    Thanks for sharing and prompting me to do a little digging of my own.

  4. When I take my kids to the beach, the first thing they do is start digging the biggest hole they can possibly dig in the sand…then little holes, then canals to lead a line of sea water to the holes. One time, in all that sand-digging, they unearthed a man's class ring from college. I saved it and have done several Internet searches digging online to find the owner, but it was much harder than expected. Haven't turned him up yet.

    I want to be a “digger,” too, digging for meaning, for stories, for truth, for honesty.

    Thank you for taking a simple picture of kids digging in snow and helping me ponder it at a deeper level. 🙂

    I'm glad Charity highlighted you today in her “There & Back Again” carnival at Wide Open Spaces. I popped over here, from there.

    Keep digging, and sharing what you find here at Live with Flair.

  5. Your post stirs memories of my childhood and digging for treasure. Now I dig in the Bible for His golden nuggets and find that I am rich. Thank you for this beautiful post!