Jesus said, “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”

-Luke 8:5-8

This parable (The Parable of the Sower) came to mind this week as I was watching my bird feeders be visited by all kinds of neighborhood friends. We have a variety of woodpeckers, finches and other Iowa birds visit our feeding area. We also have a squirrel and bunny that spend a lot of time in the grass below the feeder enjoying seeds and sprouts from what has fallen. Every seed is either used directly as nourishment for a creature or it wedges itself into the  earth to later sprout into sweet grass treats. 

I have always struggled with this parable a bit. As you read on it feels a little as if the message implies that seed landing on the good soil is the most valuable. If we look at people sharing God’s love and God’s teachings as the seed I believe we can see that all the seed is valuable. Sometimes it doesn’t take hold for as long as other times, and yes it sometimes results in a different outcome than intended but that doesn’t mean sharing the seed in the first place wasn’t important. No matter its growth. 

God’s love touching someone's heart, even for a brief moment, is indeed very valuable and important. A little bit of root or time spent with God’s love is better than none. Maybe the seed takes a long time to germinate, and maybe we need to keep seeding the same area multiple times. That doesn’t mean the past seed didn’t make a difference, at least for a little bit. Who are we to decide how long growth should take? 

So yes, sometimes the seed doesn’t get used as planned, and sometimes the seed gets caught up in other things and doesn’t grow as long as intended, and sometimes the life the seed gives is modified in less than ideal ways. This is called being human. It is still God’s love and creation moving in around and through all of us, grabbing on to us, and working on us in whatever way we allow. Just keep sowing and receiving the seed.