Planting Seeds


Planting Seeds: Early, unsuccessful attempts at sharing the Gospel that lodge into the souls of the unsaved and grow, eventually, into salvation.

Our Gospel drama in e did not go well. At all.

It was a kind of flash mob before flash mob was a thing. Here were these people, sitting in the sun, eating their lunches at small metal tables, and then—BAM—Stephen Curtis Chapman was blaring out of a boom-box while we staged a dance/drama in the square.

The people in our drama were chained to their addictions. I’d spent hours looking for enough rubber handcuffs in local costume shops so that at the chorus of the song, Jesus could touch each person, and we could all fling them off in unity. Free.

“So, did you catch our drama?” We’d asked the people sitting around after it was over. We were sidling up to them while they were finishing their food, trying clumsily to segue into spiritual conversation.

“Yeah…”  They’d say, jamming the remainder of their lunch back into its paper bag and hurrying away. “Great stuff…”

We sighed, gathered our discarded handcuffs. “It’s okay,” we said to each other. “We planted some seeds today.”

It is an image used throughout the parables of Christ, the planting of seeds. Yet, when I think of planting seeds in the evangelical sense, I think of Inception, that movie where Leonardo DiCaprio keeps trying to sneak stuff into people’s brains.

I think of my past, of tossing the Gospel message into the air like confetti, hoping it worked its way into someone’s heart.

I hear resignation in the word. I hear disappointment thinly veiled with theology. What we wanted was instant conversion; I guess we’ll have to settle for this.


Somewhere, there is a gardener, pressing a seed into the dirt. It is quiet: just her and her work, soil under her fingernails, birds flying overhead.

She is intentional about where she puts it. She covers it with earth and waters it. She will stare out her kitchen window every morning while she drinks her coffee, and she will think about that seed that she planted with her two hands.

You can’t talk about planting seeds without these things. Earth. Rain. Water. Weeds. Seasons. Moon. Sun.

You can’t plant a thing without choosing to plunge your hands into the sad darkness of another’s pain and reality. Reach into the heaviness of it. Say, I know this doesn’t seem like much now, but I believe that one day it will give you hope, and then joy…and then, finally, peace.

6 thoughts on “Planting Seeds

    1. Wow, just noticed your comment and noticed no one replied. I hope you found the peace you were looking for. I said a prayer for you just now.

  1. Thanks for sharing your heart on this. I think back to your high school years and wonder if what we did was right or not. I know our hearts were and that we did our best to teach the Bible, love on one another and reach out to those around us who didn’t know God. And give an occasional Moose Lick!

  2. Addie,
    First, I’m glad you’ve got the blog up and running. And thanks for taking the time to write meaningful prose, when many evangelicals just settle for good ol’ cliches. Christian seeds haven’t taken root in my soil, but it’s an interesting concept. I have always found that the idea of “planting seeds” makes me uncomfortable. For me, it seems based on the assumption that the planter or sower has something of ultimate value, and that others are essentially dirt, just waiting for the truth to hit them and turn them into the same plant as the sower. I know you’re not like this, but many Christians want to see another person join the club, and they are not necessarily interested in what the other person ultimately thinks, feels and needs. The Christians I respect, like yourself, aren’t focused on checking off a list of souls, but in understanding other people. At least I hope that’s what some Christians are about. Anyway, thanks for the post! My motto has always been an adaptation of Robert Ingersoll’s idea of sowing happiness by making others so.
    When’s the book coming out?! (Don’t you hate getting that question? 🙂

    1. Thanks for the smart, insightful comment, Isaac. This phrase troubles me too, and I liked what you said about this idea of people as “dirt.” There’s a lack of care implied. My hope is that we would all learn to see each other as deeply significant as we are now, without expectations or limitations or exception.

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