There’s always more than one perspective. As we move forward towards the post-pandemic world, we’ll need to remember that living into the love that’s in all of us requires nurture and care and a little work. Or a lot.
Jesus told some people a parable.
A wise old woman looked out her window one day. She looked up at the sun and down at the earth and she looked at her calendar and her clock and she said to herself, “it’s time.”
She picked up a large bag full of seeds and …
“Hang on a minute,” someone interrupted. “We’ve heard this one before. You told it last week. The seeds are God’s love and they’re scattered generously everywhere for everyone.” There were nods and murmurs of agreement. “Tell us a new one, Jesus.”
“But I am,” replied Jesus. “This story isn’t about the seed. Listen.”
She stepped out her back door and she began tossing the seeds to the earth, spreading them out as far as she could.
Some of the seeds landed on the path from her door. She remembered digging out the ground and putting in the nice, flat stones to make the path. The old woman smiled to see the birds enjoying their meal.
Some of the seeds landed on rocks. The wind and the rain had worn the rocks down over the years, making smooth little pockets where the seeds landed. The old woman smiled when the seeds sprang quickly to life, then just as quickly faded away.
Some of the seeds landed among weeds. The old woman picked some dandelion leaves and chickweed to go with her lunch. They were fresh and delicious and it cleared a little room for the seeds to grow.
Some of the seeds landed in the good soil. “Good soil,” laughed the old woman. It hadn’t been much before she started to take care of it, digging up the garden bed, tilling the soil, adding healthy compost and watering. She even put up a little fence to keep out the animals while things grew. And she checked every day, and talked kindly to the little seedlings as they grew, wishing them sunlight and rain. It wasn’t long before there was a beautiful garden, thriving under her care and nurture.
Jesus looked at the crowd. “How does your garden grow?” he asked.
There was silence and more than a few frowns and looks of confusion. “So we’re supposed to be good soil?” said someone.
“You’re supposed to be who you are,” said Jesus. “We’re all different and we’re all just meant to be who we are. We’re valuable to creation just as we are, that’s part of the great wonder and variety.
“See, we’re just like the garden. We need to grow, to flourish, to be more fully who we are. That means we need work, we need feeding and nurturing, we need to stand in the sun and sit in the earth. The world around us affects how we are and what we’re like, too. And we grow together, in relationship with all things.
“Everything comes from the earth and the earth needs our help and care, just like we do, ourselves. Love is in all things and it grows and brings life when we’re open to it, we nurture it and we care for it. So. How does your garden grow?”