The land of the earth – our home – was created with every kind and color of dirt: black soil, red clay, white sand, brown loam. Each kind of terrestrial humus was hospitable for sustaining life. All the ground was beautiful and useful, patiently awaiting God’s seed of life.
Then God made mankind from the dust of this colorful earth. Into every male and female God sowed his own life and love and spirit. God planted his own seed.
And God invited each member of his earthly family – uniquely useful and lovely – to tend and multiply his seed over the prepared ground of the whole earth. Would they? They were free to choose.
Long ago, Cain, the first older brother of the human race, returned to dust in the fertile ground east of Eden. I’ve no idea the color of Cain’s skin, or the color of the dirt in which he was buried, but what seed did Cain choose to cultivate in the soil prepared for him by God? What of that seed lives on?
Hatred. Conspiracy. Murder. Contempt. Violence. Chaos. Blame. Bad blood.
Cain’s selfish complaint lives on. His bitter grudge lives on. His refusal to examine himself lives on. His abuse of the innocent lives on. His haughty retort, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” lives on. Choosing to take matters into his own hands lives on.
None of this is of God.
Who’s seed, then, did Cain cultivate?
One day, all persons on earth will once again return to dust. All will become as the black soil, red clay, white sand, or brown loam to which they are lowered or scattered. But what seed will live on?
Truth. Light. Mercy. Faithfulness. Impartiality. Justice. Righteousness. Beauty. Forgiveness. Joy. Honor. Rest. Gentleness. Tenderness. Flourishing. Shalom. God’s seed will ever live on earth as it is in heaven.
I’ve no idea the color of your skin, dear reader, but I’m certain it is beautiful because God made it so. But whose seed are you sowing today? What are you tending and multiplying in the soil God himself has prepared for you?
What will live on long after you’ve returned to the impartial and patient color of dust?
What will stand forever?
Shalom to you and yours in these refining days.