More than a decade ago, my pastor, the Rev. Dr. Diane Givens-Moffett, led a bible study at St James Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. On a piece of chart paper, she drew a series of ovals lined up in a row. She said these represented seeds we plant during our lives. Most often, she went on to say, you will not see the fruits that are borne from these seeds but just know that by merely planting them, you are doing God’s work and they will contribute to the formation of fruit. That’s of course if the seeds are positive and loving. One could also plant other seeds – seeds of discord, seeds of malcontent, seeds of envy… these are the seeds I hope and am intentionally trying NOT to plant.
Pastor Moffett’s drawing has stuck in my mind for all these years and finally this year, it struck me that I had found my purpose – in fact, it had been revealed to me at least 10 years prior at that Thursday night bible study. It is to plant seeds as an expression of my faith. Seeds borne out of my own doubts, sadness, inner turmoil, struggles and fears, but that transformed into seeds of triumph and joy – not mine but God’s. All the bad seeds planted in my spirit along the rocky road of life by people and circumstances were no match for God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness and protection. Because God also sent many to plant in me the good seeds. The seeds of faithful family, friendship, caring, love in all its forms, stern guidance, preparation and goodness.
And so it is I am exploring what it means to plant seeds as an expression of God’s love. Sometimes it just means to pay attention and listen. As I’m learning to hear God’s voice, I find it’s hard to ignore the homeless youth sitting in front of the drugstore. And so I ask, “What’s your story?” By the simple act of showing some care and concern I witnessed an immediate change in his posture and being… he told me about his struggles and trying to get on the right path. I just listened and in the end gave him the money I had in my pocket. I have no idea where he may be today, but the moment we shared was a sacred one. The seed was planted.
I find myself looking for ways to plant more seeds. I want it to become an obsession. I want to find new and different ways to plant seeds. I want to start a movement. A seed planting movement. I want it to permeate every aspect of my life. I want it to resonate throughout my being. I want it to take hold in a world too busy and self-absorbed to plant seeds.
So I thank my pastor for planting the seed in me and apologize that it took so long for me to recognize it.
What seeds will you plant today?