The Darker the Dirt, the Richer the Soil


The Darker the Dirt, the Richer the Soil


The darker the dirt, the richer the soil.

It’s true, I googled it—
The most nutrient rich soil is the inky black stuff
thick with manure and compost,
worms and decay.

And this?

This is where life is planted.

Seeds grow best in the dark,
buried deep
far from the light of day.

Good things happen in the darkness.

A caterpillar forms wings within the cocoon.
A baby’s heart begins to beat inside the womb.
Spring comes after the long night of winter.
Our bodies revive while we rest.

All of these take place in the dark.

It would seem, then,
that darkness
is one of the key ingredients
for transformation.

Jesus Himself,
the Light of the World,
yielded to darkness.

In some of His most profound moments on earth
we find Him up late at night
awake before the dawn
calming grey stormy seas
praying in a dimly lit garden
hanging under a sunless sky on the cross
lying enclosed in the tomb.
Jesus knows darkness.

Jesus knows waiting.

And He waits
with us
in the dark.

Like seeds, He buries us,
in the inky soil of waiting.

And He says,

Unless a kernel of wheat
falls deep into the ground
breaks open,
and dies
it remains only a single seed.

If it waits
it will grow roots
And those roots,
they’ll produce shoots
And those shoots will break ground
and they will bring forth

But oh, the long wait
in the stillness of the soil
in the stillness of the soul.

When only then
you really know
just how slow
a seed grows.

And the waiting feels unending
And the questions don’t have answers
And it seems like nothing
is happening
at all.

Take heart.
There is so much more going on in the darkness
under the surface
than your eyes can see just yet.

You’re waiting today.
Your way seems dark.
You feel as though you are being buried
down in the deep.

Jesus is there too,
waiting with you.
In the dark night of the soul.

In the deep dark of the soil.

And sometimes,
He doesn’t turn on the light.
But always,
He is with us through the night.

And He says,
Dear one, there’s a depth that comes in the darkness
you can’t find any other way.
There’s a peace budding quietly within
that sustains you for today.
There’s a beauty hidden in the fog
if only you have eyes to see.
There’s a richness buried in the waiting
that only time reveals.

And perhaps, what feels like a burial
is more of a planting.
And perhaps, what seems like dying
will one day be resurrecting.

And perhaps, what looks like darkness
is simply the moment
the dawn.


Facebook/Instagram @sarahbourns

14 responses to The Darker the Dirt, the Richer the Soil

  1. Sarah, this wasn’t written by someone who has walked a simple and easy life. It is worth it. HE is worth it! And…. you, my sister, are a blessing to countless numbers with your life experiences and your poetry. NYC needs you more than ever. Your light is bright! May Good bless you richly!

  2. Prov. 25:11 reminds us that “a word fitly spoke is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Thank YOU Sarah Bourns – with God’s enabling, you have done THAT! The depth and beauty of your poetry is only surpassed by the truth you expressed. We are deeply grateful…
    Paul and Carol Landrey

  3. Wow! just WOW! I have to say that I needed to hear this, Sarah, and I thank you so much! I plan to share this with many others in my community of influence. God bless you and God’s speed with writing more!

  4. thank you for this poem it should tug at all the hearts that read it and then b blessed. None of us will b the same after this is over.Praying Christ will help us grow in our relationship with Him. Then touch others with what we learn through the darkness. May our heavenly Father richly bless you!

  5. Beautiful poem, so deep and well-expressed! Thank you for sharing that! I have seen these truths in my own life.

  6. This was awesome. It really spoke to me in so many ways. I am keeping this where I can read it often. Thanks for helping in the healing process.

  7. Sarah, thank you so much for the words of encouragement to keep trusting in God even in the dark times. Thank you for using your gifts of faith and the lovely expression of that faith for His glory. Blessings on you and the work He has called you to. Your light is shining brightly in this dark world we live in.

  8. This!!! All of this is just LIFE GIVING!! Thank you for this reminder written in such a beautiful way!! Thank you for sharing your gift with us!!

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