Sitting in the church pew, all in our Sunday best, my kindergartner points her finger at the words of the hymn.  I slowly guide her hand so her finger follows along with the worship leaders.  I notice the dirt underneath her fingernails.  I glance at my son’s fingers flipping the pages of the Bible as he whispers the order of the books from memory to locate the scripture reading for the sermon.  His fingernails are dirty as well.  I inspect mine.  Yep, dirty.  Thankfully, for me, the white tips of a recent French manicure hide the dirt.  It’s odd – I’m only a tiny bit embarrassed.  You may think there is no excuse for dirty fingernails.  We live at a time where there’s probably hand sanitizer of some sort within an arm’s reach of you.  They come in every shape, size, color and fragrance – and they’re everywhere, some near your sink and even on your key chains.  Yes, it’s important to have good personal hygiene.  But, I like that our children are not afraid to get dirty too.  Did you know that there are even studies by immunologists and psychologists revealing that getting down and dirty in the outdoors helps children lead healthier, happier lives?  Some of these studies actually recommend parents go on occasional field trips to farms!  Well, I say – get a franch!  I especially like knowing that it isn’t just any old dirt – it’s garden soil from harvesting vegetables for the day’s meals, it’s dust from grooming the horse, it’s dander from scratching our dogs behind their ears, it’s grain crumbles scooping out feed from the bins.  Still sitting in the church pew (it’s thankfully a long sermon today), the dirt beneath our fingernails reminds me of my kindergartener’s recent Sunday school lesson.  It was about how the Lord formed man out of the dust from the ground.  You see, dirt isn’t so bad after all.

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