Monday, August 02, 2004

Stories

Matthew 13

I am sitting on the beach with Jesus. The dying of the sun leaves the sky ablaze in a brilliant wash of orange, purple, pink, and a stubborn, resiliant gold. I long for one of His stories, and I look at Him. My eyes widen in anticipation, and He laughs at me. He knows I am a story junkie, but He waits.

"There are others, " He says. Of course there are. There are always others who want to hear from Him. That's okay with me. Loving them doesn't mean He loves me less. He is a free flowing fountain of grace.

There are so many. A multitude of His delight, ready hearts, began to gather. There is the hard press upon Him, and it forces Him into a boat, but he uses it as a pulpit. He is very low maintenence like that, and He begins His stories.

"What do you make of this? A farmer planted seed..."

Did you see?

Did you see the God-hand ruthlessly scatter His seed in the wind, flying it on a mercy. Behold, it is reaching the four directions.

Did you see seed land on well-worn streets to be trampled on, unseen by weary traveler's feet?

Did you see seed fall in the rough, tumble of gravel, longing for growth, never knowing there were no roots, until it whithered, unconnected to soil, life, or vine.

Did you see the seed that fearlessly submitted to the sun? It gave its body to be burned, but did not love. It was a sacrificial offering to nothing, missing the secet of life altogether.

Could you testify against the weed, who assaulted the quiet spirit of the seed, choking it dead, leaving its useless carcass. Even the vulture didn't want it after that. Did you see the story?

Then He asks, "Are you listening to this? Really listening?"

And we ask Him, "Why do you tell stories?

He answers, "You've been given insight into God's kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn't been given to them. Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understanding flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity disappears. That's why I tell stories, to create readiness; to nudge people toward receptive insight. In their present state they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they're blue in the face and not get it."

He sighs, "I don't want Isaiahs forcast repeated all over again." And He speaks His word to us:

"Your ears are open, but you don't hear a thing.
Your eyes are awake, but you don't see a thing.
The people are blockheads!
They stick their fingers in their ears so they won't have to listen;
they screw their eyes shut
so they won't have to look, so they won't have to deal with me face to face,
and let me heal them."

This seems to make Jesus sad, and I reach out and touch His shoulder. I feel guilty, because He has found me in the prophet's words. I am a blockhead, but I am here to let Him heal me. I am here to look at Him face to face. He won't have to feel disappointed about that. So, I say to Him, "Please Jesus, tell us more stories."

This makes Him so happy, and He laughs again, a fine, booming laugh that spills out of his eyes as much as it does his mouth. He grasps my hands and says to me, "You have God-blessed eyes--eyes that see! And God blessed ears--ears that hear! A lot of people, prophets and humble believers among them, would have given anything to see what you are seeing, to hear what you are hearing, but never had the chance."

When he releases me, I feel something rough and grainy in my hand. It is seed. I hold tight to it, listening to His stories, storing wisdom from his explanations. I am so glad to be with HIm. I am so blessed. I whisper, "Thank you Jesus. I love you, Jesus." He smiles at me. He loves me too, but He doesn't miss a beat. He keeps telling HIs stories.

The seeds are tiny, but He doesn't despise small beginnings. I will plant this seed on rich soil. It will be a tall tree of grace, feeding many. At least that is what I pray. That is what I hope, walking away from the crowd, HIs face before me in my minds eye.

I am healed. I am delighting in Him. I am seeking rich earth.

I am ready to begin.

What will you do with the seed He has given you?

God's raga



5 comments:

Candy said...

precious, absolutely precious.

upwords said...

Raga,

Once again, I smile. I have been this seed, all of them, so many times. Of late, the fearless, stupid hull braving the sun's fire, missing the secret life. Calling for rescue with parched lips only to find myself alone, while other drink in leaping springs of ridiculous and wonderful water.

Today I feel like that. Burnt up, burnt out. Empty. But even now, I feel myself flying, rising in His hand. Being flung out again over the moist earth. As I fly I see the patch of dryness I braved for so long. Though I couldn't see them on my back, there are roots there, big enough to crack the desert floor.

In the center of the chasm, there is a rose.

Meet you at the water fountain.

Much love Sis,
Marilynn Griffith

Bill Arnold said...

Thank you for your story. Keep telling them.

bobbie said...

'The seeds are tiny, but He doesn't despise small beginnings.' i love this line (i love the whole blog post, but this line is stellar!) it's a beautiful metaphor. i think i'll tape a sunflower seed to my computer so i can ponder it, thanks for the challenge!

markwashere said...

"rolling river god
little stones are smooth
only once the water passes through
so i am a stone
rough and grainy still
trying to reconcile this river's chill
but when i close my eyes
and feel you rushing by
i know that time brings change
and change takes time
and when the sunset comes
my prayer would be this one
that you might pick me up and notice that i am
just a little smoother in your hands"
- nichole nordeman, "river god"