And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows;he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
~ Mark 4:26 - 29
Occasionally along the Gulf the tide really withdraws and we can see more of the shoreline. So much of the time our water, because it is shallow and can be muddy just offshore, we cannot see the bottom. Over the last year we've had more "blue water days," where the water is clear, and we can walk several feet into the Gulf and still see our feet and everything that is just below the surface.
I love it when more of the beach is exposed. With the water drawn back, we can see what the waves often hide.
We are so like this shoreline. We develop layers, like the waves upon the sand, that prevent others from seeing us clearly. Only when we reveal, or become vulnerable, can others truly see what is happening in our life.
The ability to become vulnerable can be frightening for some. For others it can be time-consuming finding ways to avoid being transparent to others. While there are those who are comfortable in their own skin, and don't mind sharing openly, for many of us, it can be terrifying.
The Gospel writer, Mark, attempts to share that our maturation is a normal process. Like the grass in the field, we grow as blades of grass, maturing, and then at some point we reach full maturity and are harvested.
I love to watch a field of wheat in the summer sun as the wind creates waves like that of the Gulf. The current is reflected over the countryside, as golden shafts move in cadence with God as the orchestrator. Then the field is left in stubble once the harvest is complete, exposing what is below.
So it is with us. We react and move to God's unceasing call to each of us. Our ability to react often is tempered by our own ability to shift and change. While some have built up thick outer layers, making it difficult to adapt and move, there are those who find comfort in being surrounded by community, so that when the storm comes, all are sustained by holding one another upright.
Fields and beaches are funny like that, and so are human beings, but all are God's creation. And for that, I am grateful.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.