I wrote this about six years ago.  It was a time when faith was very thin, “like too little butter on too much toast” to quote Bilbo Baggins (Lord of the The Rings Trilogy).  I couldn’t pray or read the Scriptures, all I could do was plant a few seeds.  It was part of my Lenten journey before I knew anything about Lent.  I thought I would post it today because there may be those whose faith has been stretched thin during this season and they need to know that planting seeds is just as valid as any other spiritual discipline.


I think for me, right now, the greatest act of faith I can muster is to plant seeds in the dirt.

Not “normal” seeds like peas or beans or pumpkins that have some sort of substance to them but seeds of the spring flora that are so delicate that a slightly hard pinch would crush it into pieces.  Seeds that do not look like seeds but rather a single piece of dried up dandelion fluff – Could its weight even be measured?  And one so small that a child’s breath would send it falling from my fingers.  Seeds of such miniscule proportion that it is impossible to pick up just one with my fingers; as I reach my finger into the seed packed nearly 50 cling to the end of my finger.

What is so amazing is that somewhere inside these tiny things – life resides.  It is fragile, can be crushed or blown away, but it is there – waiting, dormant, groaning to be laid to rest and buried in the earth.

And then comes the waiting.  If ever I doubted before that these things someone else calls seed would grow, it is now.  I see nothing day after day save the same brown-black dirt.  To push away the dirt to “check” would be to kill the growing life but to believe that those things might actually grow is ludicrous.

My mind often worries during the waiting time.  Is it too cold?  Too warm?  Was the soil good?  I there enough water?  Light?  Will it frost?

Then I fall into a kind of apathetic attitude and then resignation.  First, I pretend that I don’t care if they grow – after all they’re only seeds.  And then a “they’ll never grow and I’ll just have to buy some potted plants to transplant in here after a few more weeks”.

But I lie – to myself- because it does matter if they grow.  I need to know that something so fragile with so little substance planted in the dirt – by faith will live.  And not just life, but emerge to be a creation of such rare and delicate beauty and such splendid colors so as to take the breath away.  And I need to see them all grow up together – all different kinds – to create a vibrant bed of wildflowers.

I need to know that things planted by faith – no matter how small and tenuous – can emerge to beauty and purpose and glory.

O God of creation, I am of such “mini-faith” that all I can do is plant a seed in the dirt and trust You will bring it to the glory You designed it for. I need to know that something that looks dead can bring forth life……Please let my garden grow.