Looking for “intrigue” yesterday, my initial inclination was to look for some kind of film noir scene. But instead I found it in a rock. More specifically, a painted message rock left on the back of a bench where I went hiking yesterday morning. As you can see, it is painted in red and silver with the words, “be kind.” I am grateful for the very necessary message and it provided a needed reminder for me. But I found myself asking more questions. Since it was Ohio State colors, was it left then to speak to the heated rivalry with Michigan? Was the person who left it the same who initially painted it? Had the rock started off in one place but moved several times since? Why was it left there? What was it about that spot? Did anyone else stop to see it? Is it still there 21 hours later as I write this? Was it remembered by someone at a moment of conflict or challenge? And so many more questions.
Here’s the thing… If I had been the one to leave that rock, I am in control of where and how I share the message. But where it goes is out of my hands. When an artist puts out a piece to the world, the artist can try to interpret but ultimately the experience is in the life of the receiver of that gift of art – what they feel, see, hear…
Jesus tells a story about a person scattering seed which falls on very different landing places – good soil, rocky ground, pathways, and among weeds. One of the ags I hear in the parable is that we don’t control how the seeds grow, we control how we scatter the seed. Some seed in good soil will grow, some won’t. Some scattered on the path will not take root, but some will find a way. It is freeing to live in this way.
So, to whomever left this rock… thank you – your sharing made a difference in at least one person’s life.