Ok – this post has been with me the last 4 days and just wasn’t coming together until today. A few days ago I read the parable of the sower in Matthew 13 the same day that I finished a book called “Grace Will Lead Us Home” by Jennifer Berry Hawes. The book details the story of the massacre in June of 2015 at Emanuel AME Church where one white man killed nine black women and men as a Bible study was finishing up. I remember being in South Africa the day that it happened and watching the stories about on the BBC. As we were watching it, the woman who owned the guesthouse where we were staying asked us, “What’s wrong with America?” I responded then and I respond today the same, “I wish I knew.”
Actually I do know one thing that is wrong. I think we are sowing the wrong seeds.
The night of June 17 at Mother Emanuel, one of the victims, Myra, was leading a Bible study on the parable of the sower. Hawes describes all the work that Myra had put into that passage leading up to that night and how her life was taken in hatred as she finished leading the study. Hawes goes back to that same passage time and time again in the book.
So, as I finished the book to then read in my daily readings that came to that same parable was well…a message for me.
While the parable focused much more on the soil I have been praying about the seeds. As I put above, I think we are sowing the wrong seeds and we are nurturing the wrong types of things to grow. We are sowing seeds of division and hate rather than community and love. We are sowing seeds of fear and anxiety rather than hope and trust. We are sowing seeds of scarcity rather than seeds of abundance. We are sowing seeds of isolation rather than commonality. We are sowing seeds of self interest rather than self sacrifice. We are sowing seeds of ugliness rather than seeds of beauty. We are sowing seeds of quick fixes rather than long term solutions.
We are sowing the wrong seeds.
I want to be one who is sowing the seeds that grow into the trees that nurture and feed and shelter. I want to be one who is sowing seeds that produce fruit to feed many. I want to be one who sows seeds that grow into the blooms that make people stop and take in the beauty. I want to be one who sows seeds that produce the kingdom that God wants on this earth.
The picture today could feel like just a dusty, rocky path. But what speaks to me is the light that crosses the grey rocks. The light that turns the grey and seeming lifeless path into a golden light that leads to something that isn’t quite clear but feels like something new and different and…hopeful?