Thursday, March 14, 2013

SEED PLANTING -- SOFT AND HARD

                                NEW HOPE UGANDA

Huge, beautiful, flowery trees... lots of seed.
Not long after our return from Uganda in February, 1991, knowing we were “called” to be there in the future, we didn’t know where we’d live, what we’d do,  so we began to make some plans, and prep and, in my case, focus on learning some basics that would help us.

And, among everything else, I wanted to become very informed about gardening, so I took classes based on horticulture at UNO. 

UNO class at Nebraska Prairie
I learned so much about seeds.  For instance, some seed is easily and gently blown, gently touches, and seems to grow almost by magic, even though I rarely use that word.  Other seed-growth takes significant effort, barely blows, but does break through and grows beautifully in time.






Costa Rica Rio Negro, hard seed, "hard" monkeys
Here are my personal seed examples.    I've mentioned before, many times, that I was basically a 1960's street-attitude kid.  Very rough on the outside, very hard seed.  Over a period of 2 or 3 years, God used people in the work or living places in Seattle and Tacoma, friends [such as Susie] or through the Catholic, Lutheran, and Baptist churches to break through that outer shell.

Here are two God-seed-planting examples.  Both unusual.  One man lightly scattered seed into my heart, the other forced, SLAMMED, it in.
 

1) I was doing my delivery job ... carrying title insurance papers to companies in downtown Seattle.  In one large building,  I was waiting for an elevator.  A tall man walked through the lobby and, seeing me with an armload of business-related envelopes, stepped beside me.  “Excuse me.  I am trying to find this building.”  He showed me the address.  “Do you know where it might be?”  I immediately recognized it and told him exactly what direction he should go – only a couple blocks from where we were.  When I finished, he touched me on the shoulder and said, very gently, “Thank you.  God bless you.”

Seed was planted.  Soft, gentle seed ... that has never left my life. [I truly want to meet that man in heaven.  But, was he only an angel God dropped into my life to begin a change?]

THEN, there was the other one.

In Seattle, I usually walked as directly as possible so I’d get the paperwork delivered quickly enough to the companies who needed it for their property.  However, on one of the main corners downtown, near 3rd and Madison, seed was planted that scared the tar out of me.  A Black man, wearing a white suit, stood on the corner, holding his Bible, and hollering:   "If you don't know Jesus, you’re going to go to hell.”

My reaction?  He could be heard more than a block away, and I would walk a couple blocks out of the way to avoid him.

But, yes, the seed was planted.  I never forgot those words. The seed was planted deeply in me, whether I would ever had desired that.  The spiritual planting by them and many others over short times and long years, came forth April 15, 1966.  That day the Lord officially, drawing me to such a blessed life, drawing me to my Salvation through Him.  Been there forever, will be forever.

Now, am I a good seed planter?  I truly, truly try to be a soft one that gently flows into an even hard life.  And that usually has been the case.


However, in Uganda, because you can be as frank as needed, I have, a few times, spoken very bluntly.  For instance, when I had met someone who was worshiping the wrong god, acting in witchcraft, heading for prostitution or addiction or tribal death, basically, I said the same thing.  “Straighten up now.  Turn to the Lord.  He has called you.  And if you do not, you may be in hell.”  They understand that. [Do I know for sure if they have turned to Him?  No, I don’t know.  I left Uganda.  But they DID know the Word, before I came into their lives, and they heard it again when I was dealing with this.  Hopefully, they will be my friends in heaven.]
 
Seed planting is a good God-job.  Ain’t always easy, aren’t always loved.  But the consequence can truly be worth the hard work.



Light-seeded flowers at Mt. St. Helens in the hard, hard lava.

Now, I am a seed planter, a seed-blower, a seed-crusher-into person.  Fit into any of the “seed” aspects.  And I want to be in that role, one way or another, for my whole life as a servant of the Lord.
                            Period.

And I am grateful for the ones who the Lord used to place seed in me.  And it continues... I must continue to grow, COLORFULLY.




2 comments:

A Joyful Noise said...

Beautifully blown, sown and planted and growth is certain.

Floyd said...

What a blessing you are to so many. Your life has been much planting and adding to God's harvest. Bless you for your heart, Joanne.