Seeds. But not flower or vegetable, but ones that perform in a similar fashion. They bring beauty, and they feed.
I’m sitting here this morning, listening to the falling rain and looking at the several packets of seeds on the shelf near the door. The rain currently is the best kind, slow and steady. The kind that will soak into a dry ground rather than run off quickly not doing much good. The seed packets are of some of my favorite flowers. Still sealed and untouched, moved only the one time I was looking for something that ended up not being behind them. Sealed within the packet, the seeds never given the chance to germinate and grow into what they were meant to become.
On top of my desk, in a small clear container, are a couple packs of seeds for vegetable plants. On top of the container is a small, brightly colorful, stuffed sloth. Funny, but fitting. Why did I not plant them? Seeds take work, and I could not gather up the motivation to do the work necessary to bring the seeds to the point of producing. So they remain sealed in their packets, basically useless.
That’s all well and good you think, but what does that have to do with my request for seeds? Especially if there is threat of my not planting them? While I’m not talking about physical seeds, the seeds I would ask for, do still take work. The planting not in the soil, but in the soul.
If I could ask for seeds, they would be seeds that would grow and bloom into a beauty and difference in life. They would produce a garden of greater beauty than any regular flower garden could ever aspire to creating.
The seed of compassion. That those moments when we come upon someone or simply hear of one or more in need, our heart is opened and we seek ways to assist. That we reach out in what ever manner we are able, and life up those who have need. Whether their need is of their making or not. Whether we are able to set them back to right, or merely offer that hand up toward the goal. That we act in compassion, not judgement.
The seed of hope. That there are better times coming. Right now we may be facing and enduring struggles and storms, but storms eventually end. The rain will stop, the clouds will part and the sun will shine. It may take a long while, but as long as there is hope, the storms are not as bad.
The seed of education. Teaching and yet learning along the way. Teaching better ways to live. Teaching better ways to work. Teaching better ways to get along. Teaching that being different is not wrong. To be one race or another, one social or financial status, one faith or another, the list can go into infinity. Understanding that each and every individual has purpose and worth. We are each a piece of a puzzle. Put together, it creates a beautiful picture.
The seed of respect. For each other, for those in authority, for the property of others. With full understanding that there are those who do not deserve respect, but give it until it is lost through their actions. Respecting life from conception forward. Be in human or animal. Respect everyone, no matter their job, no matter their place in life, no matter what race, faith, financial status. No matter if they live in a mansion or are homeless, whether they blow through millions or count every penny. Being an individual, deserves respect. Seeing one struggling, doing all they can to survive and do better, deserves respect. Seeing someone grow up in horrible conditions overcome their beginning to be in a better place, deserves respect.Visiting anywhere. The buildings, the bridges, the trails, act with respect to those who live, work, visit there. Don’t destroy, don’t deface, don’t leave your trash. You brought it, take it back with you or find a trash receptacle.
The seed, of love. There are many seeds that one can plant, but the greatest is love. To love others, do you know, that you don’t have to like someone’s actions or attitude, to love them. As Jesus the Christ commanded. Being different, does not make them unworthy. To be able to show love to those different than you, shows how great that love is. To be able to love one, forgive another for a wrong done, to have compassion for others, is a deep, true, great love. When you have love, it overpowers the other emotions that do harm to ourselves and those around us. Hate, apathy, anger, are a cancer to the spirit. Love overcomes and heals.
Seeds of spiritual understanding and faith. The understanding of what believing and accepting takes and gives. Seeing the changes in life and living. Seeing the confusing and fears fade as hope and trust grows. Knowing that being a follower, means following someone, meaning we are never alone. There is One greater guiding, strengthening, encouraging, protecting us as we journey.
If I could ask for a gift, it would be seeds. The seeds to plant a garden of life experiences, emotions, attitudes of amazing beauty. But seeds alone will do me no good. Just as the seeds on the shelf are no more than seeds on a shelf. If I act the sloth,holding within me, the seeds of better and do not share, they do no good. If I selfishly hold them to me, they remain simply seeds, yet, seeds that will eventually die from lack of nourishment gained by being shared to this world. A candle lighting another, does not diminish in light but grow. A seed planted grows. Tended to and nourished by constant attention to the growth through kindness, compassion, respect, love. The greatest, the brightest, the most beautiful flower, is love.