Then He said, “The kingdom of God is like a man scattering seed on the ground and then going to bed each night and getting up every morning, while the seed sprouts and grows up, though he has no idea how it happens. The earth produces a crop without any help from anyone: first a blade, then the ear of corn, then the full-grown grain in the ear. And as soon as the crop is ready, he sends his reapers in without delay, for the harvest-time has come.” Mark 4:26-29
And it is a mystery indeed.
Just yesterday a doctor missionary friend in Bolivia sent me a totally random little email. Like maybe the second one he ever sent me in his life. And he told a story about an adventure and his truck and a red sandstone cliff beside the road that had become saturated with all the rain this month, turned to mush and oozed across the road like a lava flow.
And all day yesterday I had been thinking about trucks off to the side of the road. And thinking that in the literary symbolism of the book of Christy’s life, trucks by the side of the road would be all over the place. Like maybe where my big sturdy engine gave out and I pulled over to allow a powerful God to show His love.
That time that a rock whacked a huge hole in the bottom of the big diesel truck but it still managed the all day back road goat path connecting Jarabacoa with Ocoa without a drop of oil in the engine.
And I had a big talk with God about Who was in charge of my life when I was seven-months-pregnant and riding in a tiny car with eleven Dominican men through rockslides and three flat tires.
And the time the big double-cab pickup truck with three little girls in it got stuck trying to cross the river and there was obviously a huge downpour in the mountains and the river was rising and rising and rising and the man who I had found in a small shack up the road to help me left because he was embarrassed to be just wearing shorts while pushing my car out of a river (?!?!) and God asked me if it was ok if he took that truck, and, well I said yes. But He didn’t. But I had still said yes.
And another time we were stuck by the side of the road and it had been a long day and it promised to continue to be so and Nicole prayed in a loud voice for potato chips and barely as she said Amen a Sabritas delivery man rounded the bend and helped us out and gave her two bags of hot chilli chips.
And of course the time when I was driving the big double-cab truck all night long again with three little girls sleeping in the back and I always had to fill up the gas tank first in Navojoa and then again in Hermosilla in order to get to the border but this time, all of the gas stations were closed. Every last one of them, and still I drove and drove all night long with an absolutely empty gas tank.
Or the time I was driving down Pima Street and the car broke down at Pima right by Catalina High School and God told me to be a teacher even though I had just decided to become a Physician’s Assistant. And it made all the difference.
So sometimes I get a little discouraged scattering seed. And I can think of lots of ways that I don’t throw it so well. And how I could have thrown it further or deeper or less clumsily. And the soil is hard or rocky or weedy. But Jack just came over to deliver the paper and patted me on the head and said, “You are doing an important job, Christy.”
And the glorious thing about it all is the mystery. I have no idea how it happens. But the seed sprouts and brings forth a harvest, thirtyfold, sixtyfold and sometimes even a hundredfold. And so once again, I head out, the sower went forth to sow.