One of the first commands given to humankind in the Genesis was to “tend the garden.” While directed at Adam in the Garden of Eden, education major and aspiring theologian Dan Main ’23 has certainly taken this charge to heart. His desire is to live a lifestyle reflective of this responsibility, with his hands in the dirt and his head in the Word.
Dan’s deep appreciation for gardening has provided him with a very tangible and tactile way of experiencing God’s grace, presence, and partnership. “Just like plants have several basic needs in order to grow, like soil, sunlight, and water,” Dan muses, “so does our faith.” Dan is currently tending to 14 dorm room plants, including his great-grandmother’s zebra plant, as well as his favorite, a little cutting of jade.
But Dan’s dreams for earthkeeping extend far beyond the four walls of his Guffin dorm room. “My dream is to create a community garden where people can rest in God’s creation, tend the soil, and support a local food bank with the produce,'' he shares. “I think that people experience God in a lot of different ways, and one of those ways is by watching things grow and having a part in that,” Dan reflects, continuing his deep comparison between faith and foliage. “For us to be truly ‘rooted’ beings, we need to spend time reading Scripture and talking with God, as well as fellowshipping with our Christian community, and appreciating God's presence through nature, worship, and other people. These are the water and sunlight for our faith. Eastern has provided me with a place where I continually feel rooted and where I have been able to grow in my faith more than I ever could have imagined.”