“And [Jesus] said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how.’…” (Mark 4:26-27, RSV).
There are friends and family members very dear to me who seem totally indifferent to, and even somewhat hostile to spiritual things, especially to the Christian Gospel. I pray for them, and sometimes weep for them and for what they are missing out on: the deep knowledge that they are seen, known and loved by their Maker, their Heavenly Father; the intimate friendship which Jesus so longs to draw them into; and the profound hope in God’s love, goodness and mercy that ultimately removes the sting of death.
Seeds have been planted: they know that I pray, that I am a woman who has faith in a God who hears prayers. Some have even asked me to pray at times, and thanked me for those prayers. (I’m reminded of the friends who lowered the man down from the rooftop to Jesus…) However, their indifference or prickliness often keeps me from being more open with my faith. Years have passed and in some cases, no discernable change has occurred.
When I read this passage in Mark’s Gospel, though, and reflect on my own long and winding spiritual journey, I’m greatly heartened. God’s Seed has life in it. Seeds sprout and grow slowly, often painfully so. Growth happens in the dark, where no one sees. I have no idea really what is taking place in the secret places of their hearts, where God’s Spirit is right now wooing them, bringing light to them in the depths of their souls.
And so I wait: anchored in hope, prayerfully persistent, always loving, awaiting God’s harvest.