Holy Dirt?


Jan Antonsson

The Glory Road Blog, A Kingdom Highway

October 12, 2018

Neosho, MO

“GOD formed Man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man came alive: a living soul!” (Genesis 2:7, The Message).

The inspiration for this writing came from my good friend Win Parker.  His poem, “Holy Ground,” is included in this Blog.  It fits right in with my recent themes of abiding in God’s Presence, which is the only place in the Universe to find peace, mercy, kindness, and unconditional love.

In his daily meditations, Fr. Richard Rohr also often explores the difference between intellectual knowing and the mystical awareness which comes from actually being in God’s Presence.  

In his Oct. 11 Meditation entitled “The Power of Love,” he wrote:

“God measures us and makes divinity fit our souls, and our souls are able to take the measure of God because God created us in God’s image and made us worthy. God alone is complete and can fulfill our every longing. God’s grace restores our souls and teaches us how to comprehend God through love. God is incomprehensible to the intellect. Nobody’s mind is powerful enough to grasp who God is. We can only know God by experiencing God’s love. End Quote.

This quote reminded me of Lenny’s observation about the Baptists to whom he was sent, the reason we moved here to Neosho. It obviously includes all Fundamentalist religion type approaches to God, as mine was early on:  It is knowing ABOUT God, rather than knowing God.  I’m sure you’ve heard about people who read the Bible because they want to know God.  That sounds righteous and a worthwhile pursuit, but as one who did that diligently for 20 years or so before I actually encountered the living Christ, I can say that it will only take you so far.  The Bible reveals divine truth, but it takes the Spirit of God to make it real for our lives.  If you are trying to justify yourself, your actions, your church’s beliefs by finding passages of scripture, you are merely exercising your spiritual ego and plumping up your pride as well.  It springs from needing to be right because if you’re not, you fear you might end up in hell.  What a sad and misguided way to approach God.

The Bible is my favorite book because it contains the greatest stories ever told, those which relate man’s effort to please God and best of all for me, the instances where God poured out His power through mortal men to deliver them from 400 years of enslavement in Egypt, from the lion’s paw, famine, pestilence, and the sword.  The Bible awakened in me a hunger to know that kind of power which Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha were able to unleash at His bidding, and to converse with God “face to face” as Moses did:   “And the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (Exodus 33:11, ESV).  I wanted to know that God knew my name as well as He did Moses’ name: “GOD said to Moses: “All right. Just as you say; this also I will do, for I know you well and you are special to me. I know you by name” (Exodus 33:17, The Message).

The Hebrew writer gives two prerequisites for knowing more of God: “It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both 1) that he exists and 2) that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him”  (Hebrews 11:6, The Message). Jesus’ advice was, “Here’s what I’m saying: Ask and you’ll get; Seek and you’ll find; Knock and the door will open” (Luke 11:9, The Message).

I knew a lot about God, but I didn’t know Him personally until I was about 25 years old.  He baptized me in His Spirit, which opened the door that I had been knocking on for so long, revealing what I’d been asking for and seeking. God is too big and deep and mysterious to be fully known by flesh, but He is small enough to live in us, or as Paul said to the Athenians, it isn’t that He lives in us so much as we live and move and have our being in Him (See Acts 17:28).

Father God told me one day as I was jogging (my time of meditation), that He was sending me a husband and together we would flow out to others in love, mercy and kindness.  I protested vigorously that I did not want a husband.  My first marriage was a trial, an exercise in pain and futility which I never wanted to repeat.

One reason I love our Father so much is that He listens to us whine or protest or rant and rave, but He goes ahead and does what He knows we need.  He sent Lenny into my life and from him, I learned up close and personal the true meaning of unconditional love.  Lenny was a mystic who saw God in everyone and everything.  That was difficult for me to believe at first, but once I got over myself and my own ideas of what it takes to walk with God, I understood, felt, and tasted that God really, truly is in everyone and everything, the good, the bad, the ugly, and He works it all together for our good and His glory.

How do you experience the presence of God?  I’ve pondered how to explain that for years, and have no real answers or formulas to give you. For all the asking, seeking, and knocking, it is God who finds us, not the other way round.   Richard Rohr believes contemplative meditation is how you begin to practice the presence of God.  Lenny meditated everyday, not by sitting and staring at a wall like the Buddhists do, but in pacing around, usually at night in our living room, or later, walking around the circle driveway here on the farm.   I used to encounter God when I jogged, but now, I do it in bed with a pillow over my head.  I first thought of that as like being in the womb; then I realized that it is exactly what it is:  being in the womb of God, where we were born again and where we stay continuously connected to Him in the flow of His love.  So healing and comforting.  

The scripture, “Be still and know that I am the Lord” (Psalms 46:10 KJV),  speaks to me about this.  I advocate pouring out your heart, your hurts, your angers, your confusion, your angst to Father God who alone can heal and soothe your troubled soul, and there are many ways to do that. But then, of course, at some point, you do have to sit down, shut up, and see where He leads you, which is why the Psalmist told us to “Be Still and know that I am the Lord.”

My dear friend Marge White wrote yesterday that true meditation is remaining in a continual state of being.  She added,Sometimes neither seen nor felt, but it’s no less the undercurrent of His abiding life underpinning us.  Sort of like plugged in appliances still receiving current even though shut off.  And He does teach me foremost through experiences which then illuminate what’s been written, not the other way round.”  End Quote. 

Here’s Win Parker’s lovely poem entitled, 

 Holy Ground 

“Remove your sandals, Moses,” said Yahweh, “for the ground on which you stand is Holy Ground.”

“Moses complied.

“Leather removed, nothing separated common from sacred. No barrier, no human made object barred direct contact. Sole to holy soil, he stands before creator. Created touched Creator, no wall between the one and the One.

 “Just so, you stand, this day, on Holy Ground. Creature and Creator, face-to-face, Sole to Soil, no barrier, no impediment hinders. You, from earth created, touch the soil on which He rests His foot; nothing between your spirit and your Savior.

“Stooping low, He rests His presence within, creating Holy Ground.

“Holy fire blazes, consuming all that is not of Him. Dross, consumed, leaves only holy behind. You are this, Holy Dirt, a sacred place of communion and worship.

“Nothing between, you stand on Holy Ground.”  End Quote.

Father, You fill up our senses, encircling us, supporting us, and enriching us with Your mercy, Your tenderness and Your unconditional love.  The more we encounter You, the more of You we want.   Be with me Lord, I cannot live without You.  I cannot face one day or night alone. O You who never change, abide with me. Shine the light of Your presence on me and in me and through me to those You place in my path that together we may walk and talk with you now and for all eternity.  “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,  To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.”  Amen.  Jan Antonsson

Jan Austin Antonsson

17178 Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail)

All our writings from 1997-2010 are on

The Glory Road

Our writings from 2010 until the present are on this blog.

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