The fresh, local strawberries appearing in stores announced summer as much as any date on the calendar. And they remind us of the many farmers who work so hard. Often they are at the mercy of weather and climate as they provide us with the food we need. Many people have also turned to vegetable gardening at home. In the absence of a small plot in the backyard, a few containers or wooden boxes filled with soil provide a fertile environment. With some sun and water and a few seeds something always appears. And the nutrients from the soil combined with energy and vitamins from the sun both sustain us and delight us.
These images can teach us something about our own lives. We are told that God first fashioned human life from the soil. He created the earth long before Jesus taught the crowds with parables. Our lives often experience what feels like too much or not enough sun. We can feel “dried up” or parched and thirsting for something. Or there can be times that seem dark that leave us cold and feeling barren or alone.
But God still sows His seed, His Word, in our lives. The water of Baptism, or the moments of grace when our lives are touched by the kindness, compassion or need of another allows His Word to take root. It seeks out our spiritual strength. His Word finds human kindness and care and reasons for hope that we often think are absent or dormant within us. Perhaps we need to pray for eyes to see this and ears to hear this. Then we can discover the goodness and holiness already growing within us and others.