People seem to love to complain. They can look at the best of situations and see the minutest of flaws, so no wonder they can look at normal situations and absolutely rip them apart. Griping seems to be the one thing most people have down to a science. The sad thing is, the one place people seem to be able to complain the best and the loudest is in church.

A friend of mine called me last week and shared a new complaint with me from one of his flock. The complaint? There were too many new people in church whose backgrounds were less than sterling. My friend was at his wits end trying to defend the need to reach people with the gospel of Christ and impress upon this person that Jesus hung out with the dregs of the earth in order to help them.

He confessed that a couple of the new people are somewhat unkempt and have a certain "air" about them. I reminded him of something my father had told me a number of years back. Every flower grows through a little dirt or it never blooms. We are surrounded by "dirty people" all the time and yet we are expected to grow through those experiences and blossom into what Jesus wants and needs us to be; people who understand that dirt is the soil in which the church has its future.

Ever since God told Adam, "You're dirt and someday you'll return to dirt," Genesis 3:19, man has been trying to establish the difference between normal dirt and the really quality stuff of the better people. The bottom line is that the human condition is pervasive. Everyone is lost in the sight of God and in need of a Savior. They're all the same dirt.

Jesus knew this and knows this. He hung out with those that the people from the high quality dirt thought were substandard dirt people. "Those who are well have no need for a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." Matthew 9:12, 13 Like it or not dirt is dirt and Jesus expects to garden in all of it.