The ground has been tilled, the weeds removed, and the tools set aside, for now. The woman sits at her kitchen table holding her hot mug of coffee while contemplating on the day ahead.
The doorbell rings startling her out of her revelry and she sets the mug on the table and walks to the door. Opening it, a Man stands smiling and asks, “Are you ready to plant your garden?”
“Yes,” she replies. “I’ll meet you out back.”
The Man is standing beside the tilled plot of ground looking down at it when she walks up beside Him. “It isn’t very big but you know how I love to garden.” She apologetically states.
“Did you know that only one seed can grow and multiply? Don’t worry about the size.” The Man wisely states.
They kneel down in the dirt and begin planting a few seeds, some plants she acquired at the nursery, and patting the dirt carefully around them she seems pleased with their progress.
The Man sits down at the edge of the garden and gazes over the now filled plot. He’s quiet and the woman looks over at Him, smiles, and then asks, “A penny for your thoughts?”
He chuckles. Scooping up some dirt in His hand He looks at her and holds out His hand. “This dirt represents people. If they are nurtured the seed will grow. If not, the seed will die. It all depends on the person.”
The woman sits thinking for a moment and then looks at Him a little confused.
“You are planting seeds here in this dirt and you fully expect all of them to grow.” He states. “But what about the seeds you plant in people’s hearts? Not all those seeds will grow but do you stop planting?”
The woman stares down at the garden they just planted for a long moment. “I never thought of that. This is like the parable of the seeds in the Bible.”
“Exactly. People get discouraged when they don’t witness the seeds planted growing and give up. Like the seeds here in this soil, some will grow into beautiful plants and others will be choked out by weeds if you don’t tend to the garden.”
The woman stands, dusts off her jeans, and replies, “Let’s get some ice tea. I think I understand.”
Matthew 13:8 – “Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (See Matthew 13:1-9)
I love to play in the dirt planting flowers. This story reminds me of how I planted a seed, A Rose of Sharon, and came back the next year to see a grown plant with all the seed pods at the ends of the branches. In no time I found dozens of small Rose of Sharon plants sprouted around the foot of the main plant. That’s how Christianity is supposed to work. We plant spiritual seeds in someone’s life, nurture it, and watch how that person goes out into the secular world and plants more seeds. We, as Christians, are gardeners. We plant, we nurture, and hopefully, our seeds have taken deep roots and multiply into the kingdom of God. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see the results of your labor of love. Not all “soil” is receptive.