Life and Human Dignity

The Point: In the Image of Dirt


John Stonestreet

Are we made in the image of dirt?

Astrophysicist Adam Frank recently took Public Radio listeners on a field trip through… dirt. Just one handful of soil, he says, contains more microbes than stars in the galaxy. These microbes burrow pathways in the earth, allowing the soil to filter rainwater and transfer nutrients to plant roots.

Frank concludes what could have been a worshipful reflection on God’s creation with a statement that’s anything but. “Each of us,” he says, “is an ongoing expression of this Earth we were born to. Each of us is an expression of its dirt, and that is a glorious thing.”

In one sense, Frank’s right: Our bodies are dust and to dust they will return. But are we nothing more than “an expression of dirt”? No, we’re actually made in the image of the God who made dirt in such a way that it boggles our minds. He made us, and then “crowned us with glory and honor.”

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