Waranga Uniting Churches

The mystery of disappearing dirt

By on October 13, 2017

hole-dipI’ve been digging a lot of holes lately. Trenches to be exact. To lay poly-pipe to carry water around the property. My problem is that when I go to put the dirt back in the hole that it came from there is never enough to fill the hole and I’m left with a depression along the trench line. It’s not that I’m careless, I try to keep track of the dirt that I’ve taken out of the hole, I try to refill it as soon as possible, but however I do it, there is never enough dirt left to fill the hole back to the level it was to begin with. Where does the extra dirt go?

My scientific approach to this situation has me hypothesize that either there should be enough dirt to fill the hole to the level it was at before, or more likely, have excess dirt thanks to whatever I planted or put in the hole taking up extra space and the formerly compacted soil now having additional air and the lumps stopping the dirt from filling the hole as neatly as it was before I dug it out. So my reasoning says that there should be more than enough dirt to fill the hole, but there isn’t.

It appears to me that more dirt than I think must be scattered or get caught in the ground around the hole. Perhaps my compacted soil isn’t as compacted as I thought. Maybe it already has air holes from worms and bugs etc.

I’ve read that some people believe that the moon, through its rotation around the earth and its effect on our gravity, could affect how loose dirt goes back into a trench. But that seems far-fetched.

I’ve decided that problem is not with the dirt; the problem is with me. I want to able to dig around, bury my pipe and then have everything return to normal without any trace of what I have done. The truth is these little dips in the ground are neither dangerous nor detrimental. They are simply scars in the ground and I’ve decided to think of them the same way I regard the scars on my arms, hands and legs. Most people accumulate a number of scars on their body as the result of injuries and accidents through their life. Part of me would like the skin to heal without a scar, but that is not the way our bodies work. Each of my scars tells a story. As I look at them I remember times, places and people and often the moment that that skin and flesh were torn. They have become part of my story. Most of us also carry emotional scars from life’s hurts and hardships. Sometimes the body heals better than the soul.

Scars are not shameful, they say we have lived. They are healed wounds, not running sores. When Jesus reappeared to the disciples after his crucifixion and resurrection, we read that “he showed them his hands and his feet.” (Luke 24:40). I suppose it would not have been surprising if the resurrected Jesus had miraculously healed without scars, but the scars proved he was the same Jesus whom they had followed and that pain and suffering are not to be avoided, but transformed.

The apostle Paul put it this way; “We a pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but are never destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” 2 Corinthians 4: 8-10


This is the gospel, and it’s good news.

Brian Spencer, Minister

Sometimes when you win, you really lose

By on October 8, 2017

In the film “White Men Can’t Jump” Rosie Perez, who plays Woody Harrelson’s girlfriend, says to him at one point, “Sometimes when you win, you really lose. And sometimes when you lose, you really win. … Winning or losing is

Not the time or place

By on September 25, 2017

I don’t know what shocked me more: the two young men praying at the table next to me or the number of people using laptops and/or having earnest business meetings. It was 6.00p.m. and we had gone to a Canberra

A picture tells…

By on September 11, 2017

You know you are getting old when you are introduced to someone who is in their thirties and you find yourself saying, “I knew your Father.” So it was when in one of my visits to Dhurringile Prison that I

Thoughts on grief.

By on September 6, 2017

Grief is never what you expect it to be. Each death is different and gives rise to its own unique feelings and expressions. Each person who grieves does so from their own experiences and circumstances. There are tragic deaths, unexpected

Be kind. No Exceptions.

By on August 18, 2017

I was ordering a hamburger from my local fish and chip shop. I felt like a few chips with it, but when I looked at the menu board it said, “Minimum chips $4.00”. There are some things in life that

Choose life.

By on August 4, 2017

Some people have the ability to make good come out of evil. It has been 20 years since the Thredbo landslide disaster, the event that changed Stuart Diver’s life.  Recently Channel 9’s ‘60 Minutes’ featured a segment on the sole

The bits of ourselves that reside in other people’s minds.

By on July 25, 2017

In our everyday life remembering is the norm. We expect to be able to remember things, faces, names, and events. We make heroes of people with exceptional memory. We get worried when we have a “senior’s moment” and forget things

Wrong train but a good destination

By on July 24, 2017

I was doing the basics of my preparation for Sunday’s church services, between pruning the vineyard, getting ready for a meeting in Seymour, another meeting back at the vineyard, organising a fill-in player for our pool team, and the usual

The Sower

By on July 13, 2017

I can’t believe that there are not more hymns that directly relate to the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-9, Mark 4:1-20, Luke 6:4-15). Such a great multi-layered story. So with a little trepidation, here is my take on a