It Began With One

Unless you’re an expert on seeds, it’s difficult to know what any given seed will produce. I rely on the packaging to know what will sprout in my garden. I prefer buying seeds from sources that appear to be reputable as the soil in my garden is prepared for good seed. I’ve had my garden prepared, the soil tilled and fertilised, what a shame it would be to sow good seed in poor soil.

I’ve learned, though, that seeds are resilient things. Driving around in the city of Blantyre, Malawi, where I live, you’ll see random corn stalks growing on the side of the road. Corn (maize as it is known here) is a staple in the diet of Malawians and it is not unusual to see people munching on corn along the road, at work, anywhere! It would appear that those cast-off seeds found a bit of soil where they could set roots down to grow. From the discarded bits of corn on the roadside, corn stalks will grow and produce their harvest that is enjoyed by passers-by.

Once upon a time, as in the story of Jack and the Beanstalk,  a Seed was planted. It seemed outwardly by accident since it was a cast-off Seed that no one found valuable enough to plant in a nicely prepared garden. It was hastily thrown into a stable and no one took notice of the Seed – until, it began to grow. After some time, a great harvest grew and all who passed by and were hungry were free to enjoy the produce. This Seed has reproduced for thousands of years this way, thrown into places where no care was given but somehow finds the smallest piece of soil, and it grows. It grows and fills homes, villages, streets, cities, and nations. If only the world would understand the value of this Seed that those of us have enjoyed and now carry  – if only the Seed could be treated, as it deserves, planted in well-prepared gardens.

I look at this small piece of land where our church meets in Blantyre. It’s rough, there’s nothing special to be seen: the floor is dirt, we have no carpeting, no special seating (our chairs are used and slowly falling apart) and the people who come to service are very poor. It’s a cast-off place where one would wonder how could the Seed consider being planted here? No special packaging to be seen here; yet, there’s more to the Seed than what we imagine for this is the kind of place where the Seed will thrive.

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The beauty of the Seed is that it only needs the smallest bit of soil, one receptive heart, to find a place to grow and our garden is fill of hungry hearts.  It doesn’t need all of the “bells and whistles” associated with “successful” churches. All that is needed is just one heart, one soul, from where roots can grow and produce another harvest that will grow and provide food for more passers-by. After a few seasons, there will be acres and acres of beautiful harvest – but it began with one, just one simple Seed.

Zechariah 8:12 NLT “For I am planting seeds of peace and prosperity among you…”

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