Before leaving my last mental health practice, I talked with each of my clients about my departure and allowed them the space to say goodbye. Unexpectedly, one of my clients wailed in exasperation, “But you get me! You can’t leave! Every day you park your car so crooked, and it reminds me that even as imperfect as I am, I am still going to be ok like you are!” Yes, I had to go check my parking, and yes, she was right. I can never unsee how prone I am to crooked parking since the day I found out the impact that had on another human being. That same client, when I asked her to repeat back to me this absolute gem of wisdom I had bestowed upon her the day before, gave me a blank stare and said something like, “I can’t even remember what I had for breakfast this morning. How can you expect me to remember what you said yesterday?” It was then that I had to humbly accept that despite my best efforts towards intentional and profound impact, it was time I set aside my ego and acknowledge that it was God making the impact in spite of my best efforts (and I’m pretty sure God had a good laugh about it too).
In Matthew 13:1-9, we hear of the sower who was also attempting to make an impact. Despite his best efforts, as he scattered his seeds, some of them fell outside the good soil and landed on the path, the rocks, and the thorns. The seeds on the path blew away, those on the rocks grew up quickly and withered just as fast, and the ones in the thorns were choked out of their full growth. Although the parable ends here, I believe the Salvation story does not. I believe this because I have seen plants grow up in the cracks of my sidewalk. I have seen seeds blown from a path and take root in unexpected places. I have seen trees disrupt tangles of thorns and grow up tall and strong. We worship a God who works miracles despite the imperfections of our planting.
As you sow the seeds of God’s Good News, scatter them far and wide. There is no limit to the seeds God has given you to share with the world. Worry less about how they will be received because you do not know the impact a little seed may have on land that initially seems barren. Sow seeds intentionally in good soil, but don’t concern yourself with preventing seeds from scattering onto less hospitable ground. We are called to be sowers, who sow with reckless abandon in our desire to spread the Love of God to as many people as possible. What God does from there in growing those little seeds in people’s hearts is going to happen in spite of whatever wisdom we think we have or mistakes we think we’re making. So Love liberally, sow generously, and nurture gracefully. God’s got it from there.