Even in July, there are seeds being planted all over the world. Some crops that flourish in autumn begin their lives now, sown in the earth. And what is more hopeful than a seed that has been planted—and that is being cared for? The soil perhaps amended to offer the nutrients those roots will need someday, the water softening the seed’s protective layers as the ground around it is being regularly cleared, opening space for new life to spring up. Of course, hopeful seeds burst into life all over the place, not just where there has been careful tending…! That, too, is a hopeful picture, isn’t it? In our own souls, we have seeds we are intentionally caring for and hoping to see them come alive and bear fruit; and there are also quite neglected spots that also—without *our* care (though Another tends our soul, even in our unawareness)—hold the process of growth unfolding there in the soul-soil. But if we think the seed itself is the goal, though, we are about to have everything broken open. Author Cynthia Occelli observes: “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” So, when we have understood aspects of our life of faith to be the final goal, the fruit, and suddenly find them coming “undone”, it can be devastating and disorienting. But what if it is simply a necessary (and even good!) part of the process, this shattering of what-was on its way to becoming more? How does this picture offer hope into the spaces you have felt lost and dazed and uncertain after something broke open unexpectedly? How does the awareness that, even in the spaces you aren’t aware of (and therefore aren’t tending), you are being-tended all along the way by another who longs for life to flourish in you?

Posted by Jamie Bonilla at 2023-07-28 14:15:53 UTC