What’s the matter?

Thus far this morning I’ve been instructed to hum more and play in the dirt.

When the late Catherine Marshall was dealing with a physical problem that she realized had emotional roots, she heard God tell her to spend more time in her garden getting her hands in the dirt. I’ve always assumed God was telling her to relax. There may have been a different reason.

These words from the Note section of Leonard Sweet’s book, Jesus—A Theography (Thomas Nelson, 2012):

“…soil contains friendly bacteria that affect the brain in a similar way to antidepressants. UK scientists were the first to discover that bacteria commonly found in soil activated brain cells to produce the chemical serotonin.

“…makes one wonder if this isn’t one reason why many pregnant women crave clay and dirt.” (page 362)

I do not recall my wife ever munching on dirt, pregnant or not. She reminds me that today’s soil is polluted with mold, ecoli and stuff that will cause allergic reactions, perhaps projectile vomiting. Grub worms would do it for me.

The current definition of matter is “vibrating strings of energy.” That comes from superstring physics.

In the March/April edition of the Homecoming Magazine, Gloria Gaither interviews Sweet. He says, “…superstring physics…saying that matter is music. That basically, God was a sound architect; this whole creation is an incredible orchestration of a symphony, a soundscape.” 

One more quote:

“The chief developmental task of a disciple is to discover the song that God made you and to sing it ravishingly to the glory of God.”

The whole article is enriching and provocative. He reminds us that when we are sick—mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally—we are out of tune with ourselves. The universal tuning fork is Jesus.

So, what’s the matter with you?

The remake of A Trip To Bountiful premiered on TV recently. I prefer the original. I talk about this movie in my book, Mosquito Park Secrets. The story is about Mrs. Watts who is forced to live with her son and daughter-in-law to provide her shelter and her family with a Social Security check. The daughter-in-law doesn’t want the older woman to hum hymns in the house. Mrs. Watts catches a bus and runs away to her childhood home in Bountiful which is in smelling distance of the Gulf and where her memories are.

There is a scene in the original which the new movie leaves out. Mrs. Watts’ son finds her and arrives in Bountiful (the name contradicts the reality) to take his mother, whom he calls “Momma,” back to Houston. She asks for a few more minutes. She sits on the ground and digs in the dirt to feel again the land—her land.

She finally stands and brushes the dirt from her hands onto her dress—perhaps she is dusting the dirt from her dress. The closing scene is the Chevy driving across a field of grass.

I want to go and renovate that old house and listen to the scissortails and Mockingbirds  and smell the Gulf. As the car drives out of the shot, Cynthia Clawson sings, “Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling—Come Home.”


© 2014 D. Dean Benton

The Benton Quest House

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