Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.~~Matthew 13:8
One of the blessings of being a pastor in a healthy and vibrant church community, is that I occasionally get the chance to “overhear” stories about people doing modest things that have a significant impact on someone else. Sometimes it is a phone call made, or a greeting card sent, or a care package dropped off. Sometimes it is help sorting out a computer problem, or a ride to the doctor, or a home communion or hospital visit. The list goes on and on, of these seeds that are sown, and the growth they produce.
This week I was treated to one of those “seed sowing moments”. One of our church members regularly calls another member who has no computer nor smart phone, and thus cannot connect to our online worship service each week. The person lives in an assisted living community, so has no other options of going anywhere to watch with someone else. This individual was married to a clergy person for many years, and feels “out of synch” (my words) without being able to worship with others each week, even if it is digitally. So, our member decided to call this person, and for the duration of our live-stream worship, let her listen in to the service through her cell phone. I had the chance to talk with that member last week, and it was as if she had been reborn. Just hearing the spoken liturgy, lessons and sermon, along with the various musical offerings felt like a stream of living water for her. She was beside herself with gratitude for our member who “connected her” back to worship. That was such a simple gesture. But in this case, it resulted in a bigtime payoff.
We sow lots of seeds in the course of a day. Smiles offered to people we pass while walking … a thank you to the checkout person at the market … an email that checks in with someone you have missed talking to … a compliment offered to someone whose efforts or talents brightened your day … an unexpected tip you leave for the person who brings your take-out order from the pizza joint to your car. We sow these seeds and typically forget them. They are like the handful of grass seeds that you scatter over a bare patch in your lawn. You never know which ones will grow and which ones won’t.
All well and good. But never forget, that without sowing these seeds, the opportunities for simple gifts to grow would never be possible. Without seed sowing, what will God use to bring joy and life to those around us … and to us, through the sowing of others?