Matthew 13:1-9, 18-25
In the woods a woodpecker has discovered a pine
filled with insects, like a piñata,
and has already worked a pattern of holes,
like the brogues on a pair of wingtip shoes, hammering
a spiraling, pointillist tale of his search for sustenance,
his drumroll also warning
that this tree might not be long for this world.
But still, this is the way of things,
and this is where I go to feel
and the industry
of wild things.
This is where things grow
rather than because of me.
To be a gardener or a farmer
is to trade in hope,
to refuse to give up
even when the odds for abundant growth seem long.
Nonetheless here’s growth,
in each new sprout from the ground.
Sow hope; reap care:
the instruction manual
for farming and ministry.
There is more than simply science
or even art
in how hearts, sometimes scarred from abuse or neglect,
can nonetheless be transformed
into the soil for new growth in love.
Sure, some seed may feed the birds–
but doesn’t God provide there as well?
Plant anyway, yes—
open to receive the gospel in faithfulness,
in response to the promise
that the gospel will bear fruit
even in the clayest soil of the healing human heart.
God famously works in clay, too.