Periodically I get notes (generally unsigned) whose tone is angry and disgusted. The notes usually criticize the type of people that we are trying to help at the Mission. I understand their feelings about the lifestyles that have gotten people in the situations they find themselves. One recent note got me thinking about this whole matter.
Life is a mystery. One of life’s mysteries is how all of life can be compressed and reduced to a seed. Plants, animals and humans all carry on themselves through a seed. The seed is like a small computer with information stored up within itself. The seed has a bank of knowledge in this small computer. The seed contains the identity of its character and its characteristics. The life is in the seed. Even more amazing is in the seed is the timing of its release. The mystery of a seed is that it can lie dormant for a long period of time. However, when placed in the proper environment that nourishes it, something happens. Nourishment unlocks the purpose of the seed; it needs water, food, light, etc.
For example, you can go to Lowes or Home Depot and find packets of seeds. Inside the packet the seeds are dormant. You can take them home and put them on the kitchen counter and they will just lay there in the packet doing nothing. They can lay there an indefinite period of time and nothing grows. However, if you take the packet outside and open it up and put the seeds into the ground something begins to happen. The soil begins to work on the seeds until they crack open and begin to produce. With the proper care and nourishment they will eventually produce some sort of fruit.
What’s also interesting is that after producing the fruit, the seed still remains the means of reproduction. The seed is the remnant of the fruit. The seed is the remnant of the harvest. In the seed is the mystery of life, not in the fruit; the fruit is the home for the seed.
From a Christian perspective, we believe that sin has corrupted our seed. We all enter the world with a corrupted seed. That’s why we don’t have to teach children how to be bad, it comes naturally. The Bible tells us that we need another birth from another seed to work out the blemish. In Genesis 3:15, we find the first messianic prophecy where God promises that a seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. Hence, a virgin birth was necessary in order for a new incorruptible seed to come.
Again, the key to the growth of the seed depends on the proper environment, proper nourishment and proper care. That’s what we are trying to do with those people that have come to the Mission. Up to this point, they have not been in the proper environment or had the care and nourishment to produce something good. It would be foolish of us to get mad at the packet of seeds on our kitchen counter because they are not producing. Most of our “guests” are like that seed packet on the counter.
I also believe that those that come to us need to make a decision to be in the proper environment and to receive the proper care. Up to this point most of them have been in the wrong environment. Can we really expect something good to come when you plant in a bad place? Regardless, of their past, it is worth the effort to help them grow and produce something good. It is amazing to watch them slowly change right before our eyes. Just like in farming, it is hard sometimes. It is easy to get disgusted or discouraged; however, with persistence the result is worth the effort.
I would encourage you to think of it this way. Maybe, this will help in understanding what we are trying to do. I pray that none of you find someone you hold dear in a similar situation. But if you do, appreciate the fact that there are people (many of whom have come out of bad situations themselves) who are trying to help. Pray for us as we continue to prune, water and care for the seeds placed into our care. We also hold on to the scripture that says: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29:11. God bless you and your family.
In His Service,