When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.’ As he said this, he called out, ‘Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’
- Luke 8:4-8
It is so safe to grab a tribal name for ourselves or assign one to those around us: Liberal, Republican, socialist, ‘Elite’, Redneck, Mick, MAGA, Marxist. Labelling seems much less risky than learning a given name, looking into another’s eyes and seeking the true soul. We even grab labels in our study of scripture. “ She’s such a ‘Martha; I should lend her some of my ‘Mary’.
Even with the parable of the sower, I wonder to which soil type I belong—The Path, The Rock, The Bramble Thicket, or the Fertile Soil, hungry for the Word.
Well, it’s obvious to me; I’m fertile soil, hungry to sprout the Word into a fecund orchard of Love, bearing bushels of Kingdom fruit…
However, I do conduct much of my life on the hot, packed, clay path of doing. I look down, so’s not to stumble; and I often say, “‘scuse-me” when I bump other nameless doers. Oh well, I’ll catch my first seed tomorrow at 6:00AM when Trinity’s meditation hits my e-mail.
And, yes. I do carry about a rock-hard shell of well-being -- mostly aspirational. I mean, how can I be credible and likable if I my vulnerabilities are on display? It’s inevitable that a few seeds of the Word bounce off my shell. I’ll pick them up and bring them into my world when I am alone, maybe at 6:00AM.
OK, OK…yes; I can be prickly at times. What with the Pandemics, the smart variants, Phi, beta, and kappa, Ida and Nicholas and the cones of uncertainty, and the cones of certain destruction marking potholes. You’d be prickly too! Inevitably, my handful of prickly behavior becomes entwined in your thorny reach until no one has a free hand to pick up on The Word all around us.
The truth is, the path, the rock, and the bramble are all choices. We can choose not to be them. They are all responses to perceived fear and shame. Fear and shame; the opposites of Love. The last, Love; it is the seeds we forego with our choice to fear. I was right about one thing; we are all the weedless, fertile garden. I know, because that’s how God made each of us to be. As such, we do our best to grow and live the Kingdom. All the rest is dark imagination.