dirt, filth, dung, manure
A Clever Verse for Context
He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure (koprion) on it (Luke 13:8)
I suppose if you are a fig tree, having someone dump manure (koprion) all over you is not a bad thing. For us humans, however, a bucket of manure to the feet, or, in the case of the unfortunate consul Bibulus, to the head, is an unpleasant and stinky experience. But crap, like air, water, and love is also the stuff of life. When the world gives us challenges, setbacks and grief (aka crap), God sustains us and helps us to grow. Life will give us more than we can handle, but nothing is too great or too repulsive for God to transform for good and for growth.
The historian Plutarch in his biography of Gaius Pompey describes civil unrest in the city of Rome, including an incident where manure or filth (koprion) is dumped over the head of the Roman Consul Bibulus (Plutarch, Pompey 48:1).
Clever Questions for Further Reflection
When have you felt overwhelmed by life’s difficulties?
How have you experienced God in challenging and even hopeless situations?
A Clever Prayer to Close
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day.
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away.
Change and ecay in all around I see.
Oh, Thou Who Changest Not, abide with me.
~Abide With Me, Henry F. Lyte