by Colette Hehle
Fungi play a part in holding together the soil and the natural world, just as Jesus maintains the world of people, plants, and animals.
Fungus is also crucial in that it consumes—and thus creates life from—dead and decaying matter. Without fungi (and bacteria) to facilitate the process of breaking down the dead, we would have no healthy space on earth to inhabit. Fungus is a little like God, in that it can “swallow up death” (NRSV, Isaiah 25:8) and facilitates the process of changing a body “from death to life” ( (NRSV John 5:24).
We must also consider the miracle of mushrooms. When consumed by humans, mushrooms can be among the healthiest superfoods in the world. Used in traditional medicine across the globe but especially in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), some mushroom species have been proven to increase immune response and even help prevent certain types of cancer. Other types of fungi are even found in the human body, supporting crucial natural systems, such as digestion, even though we are unaware of their presence. Recently, scientists have even discovered that certain mushrooms (in this case the “special” ones), are able, in conjunction with talk therapy, to help people through illnesses such as PTSD and major depression.
While God is so much more than a fungus, the similarities between fungi and the divine are worth some reflection. After all, a fungus stretching nearly four miles across Oregon was only recently usurped as the largest living organism in the world. It has been alive for several thousand years, enduring fire, drought, storms, and change. Watching, listening, and tasting this part of God’s creation can teach us something about the Divine–the Divine that connects, restores, heals, and endures.
Phillips, Michael. Mycorrhizal Planet: How Symbiotic Fungi Work with Roots to Support Plant Health and Build Soil Fertility. Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2017.
Lowenfels, Jeff. Teaming with Fungi: The Organic Grower's Guide to Mycorrhizae. Oregon: Timber Press, 2017.
Williams, Liam. “The Magic of Mycelium: Understanding Fungi’s Role in Our Ecosystems.” TheGreenTemple.net, 2023. https://thegreentemple.net/articles/mycelium-the-future-is-fungi/
Bogdanowicz, Richard. “Mycelium and Fungi.” The Permaculture Research Institute. January 2017. https://www.permaculturenews.org/2017/01/06/mycelium-and-soil/
About this Blog
This blog shares the activities of Creation Justice Ministries. We educate and equip Christians to protect, restore, and rightly share God's creation.