Before I was old enough to go to school my father would come home from school (he was a teacher) and play marbles with me. It wasn’t the traditional game where you had to knock marbles out of a circle. We had three small holes in a row in the dirt by the side of the house. I no longer remember the rules. What I do remember is waiting for him to come home. I’m sure he changed his trousers before he got down on his hands and knees in the dirt with me, but I don’t recall that. What I do remember is seeing him with the sleeves of his white shirt rolled up and his necktie tucked inside between two buttons and the sheer joy of it all. I was so small I actually thought I won. I did. But it wasn’t marbles.
One is loved when another gets down in the dirt for them. I was loved then and loved again when my God got down in the dirt for me. This time it wasn’t merely getting soil on one’s hands and knees. This time it was about “eating with publicans and sinners.” This time it was about touching filthy stinking lepers. This time it was about lying face down in the dirt of Gethsemane while the filthiest of all creatures ever pressed on Him to believe it was for nothing.
One can never tire of the Gospel. It is the most amazing love stories of all time. No matter what the cost Jesus chose moment my moment to endure for us. When He got down in the dirt it wasn’t a game. It was life and death. His and ours.
Written by Roger Bothwell on July 29, 2014
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574