Growing Together in the Light

A place for Friends and others to explore Quakerism. A place where, in the Light that comes from God, we may all grow and where we may hope to find a unity that underlies our diversity of language.

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Location: Arlington, Massachusetts, United States

Raised a Friend, I am currently a member of Fresh Pond Meeting in Cambridge, Mass. I am also active in Salem Quarterly Meeting and in New England Yearly Meeting.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Seed is a Weed

This came to me when I sat down in meeting one day:

The Seed is a weed.
This is a good thing,
and my heart was glad.

Early Friends used the image of the Seed, or the Seed Christ a lot. I would imagine this seed growing into some sort of beautiful flower or mighty tree. But this is not the way it is.

The Seed is a weed.
This is a good thing,
and my heart was glad.

Jesus said “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

A mustard seed is small, but you do not sow it in your fields. It is a common weed that grows by the side of the road. It is thoroughly nondescript. It has a woody shaft and it grows to four or five feet. It does not branch. No bird nests in it. It does have pretty yellow flowers but when you see it growing among the ragweed and the Queen Ann's lace by the side of a road or in an empty field, you might not notice it.

The Seed is a weed
This is a good thing,
and my heart was glad.

When I go to the garden shop and buy seeds or plants, I will mix fertilizer and compost with the soil, put them in the dirt and water them. Then what? I will not weed them until the weeds have grown so large that pulling the weeds will pull up what I planted. I will think about fertilizing but I will put it off until it is too late in the year when the annuals are dead and the perennials are going dormant. I will water them when they have already turned brown from the drought. I never build a fence to keep out rabbits that would eat the leaves or groundhogs that would eat the roots. But if I did, the fence would not be tight enough and I would forget to shut the gate.

But the seed is a weed.
This is a good thing.

The seed grows in me even when I neglect it. The seed grows in me even if I am treading it down. The seed grows even when I do not water it or nurture it or tend to it.

The Seed is a weed.
This is a good thing,
Because if it weren't a weed, if it were a tender, delicate species, it would not grow in me.

The Seed is a weed.
This is a good thing.
And my heart is glad.

Blessings to all,

Will T


Anonymous Marshall Massey (Iowa YM [C]) said...

This seems to be a rather different understanding of the Seed, from Christ's teaching that it is something that can shrivel up if it falls on shallow soil, and that can be choked out if it falls among the weeds.

April 12, 2008 12:01 AM  
Blogger Will T said...

Even weeds can be killed and a ground can be so rocky, or packed down, or dry that even weeds won't grow. But the Holy Seed yields a hardy plant. I have seen it grow in some pretty unlikely places. It doesn't seem to need a lot of care and nurture to sprout and it seems to be able to continue to grow even in the face of a certain amount of neglect. That certainly has been my experience. Certainly it is better for us if we tend to the growth of the Spirit within us but we don't need to terminally guilty when we mess up or when we are unfaithful in some way.


April 12, 2008 8:53 PM  

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