A Story to Share: The Seed Blooms

This is a story God gave me this morning in prayer. It’s been quite a struggle to write it up with ‘flu, but anyway, it spoke into my circumstances, and I hope it might be a blessing to you too. x

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The Seed Blooms

The seed was formed on the head of a hydroponically grown flower, in a long greenhouse. It had only vague memories of this time, as all of us struggle to remember well our earliest moments. It did remember the feeling of the hot sun, sliding down through sloped glass, prismed into an unnatural temperature, and that one day, just as he was feeling at his fullest, someone knocked the back of his mother’s head and he fell into a hessian sack. Most of his brothers and sisters came too, though a few fell to the ground, and some were left behind, holding onto the dying flower head for all they were worth.

From the hessian sack, the seeds were poured into tiny, foil-lined packets, and sealed shut. There was no air to breathe, no light to see by, no heat to warm them, no moisture, not even space to speak into or call one’s own. Surely this nothingness, if it were death, would soon pass. But it did not. And nor did the seed think it was anything so natural as passing on. For where had they come to? It was nowhere and nothing.  By and by, many of the seeds took to simply sleeping, for what else was there to do in the packet?

But the seed we are thinking of used his time differently. He used it to let fly the only thing he had left of his own, his imagination. He imagined growing. He imagined the sun on his back, he imagined something he had never experienced but felt the need of in his innards, he imagined the warm, living texture of soil. He imagined the creatures that might exist there, he imagined how it might feel to grow, he imagined beauty. He thought about what colours he and all his siblings might be, if they were ever allowed out into the world. He imagined being who he was meant to be, in all his singing glory.

The seed packet was sent in a lorry with thousands of other packets to a garden centre on the outskirts of a city. More and more gardens were being paved over by the city folk, because who had the time to deal with wildness any more? Far easier to tend concrete. So, the seeds did not sell well, and many of them languished there for years. Can you imagine years spent locked up in the vacuum of dark, knowing you were meant to feel the gentle warmth of sunlight? Can you wonder how it might feel to be imprisoned in airless silence, when you knew you were meant to breathe deep of fresh air and grow tall? Can you sense how awful it must be to feel dry and listless, not even able to dehydrate, but just be sure that you were rotting somehow, when you were certain that you were meant to be bursting into life through vibrant, nutritious, rich soil? When you knew there were the beginnings of roots inside you that were meant to delve and dive? The seed did not have to imagine this hellish existence, for it was his life.

The dark dreariness seemed that it would never end. Indeed, he had nothing but a softly dripping hope in the underworld of his soul that it ever would. There was no reason for the hope, except that he could not totally bring himself to believe that he existed for nothing, and that the colours and songs in his heart were never to be seen or sung. The hope was deeply painful, and sometimes he wished that it would shrivel up and die, and that he would too, because most of the time it seemed a pointless life and a cruel hope with no foundation.

Unbeknownst to the seed, his packet, stuck behind so many others in the Garden Centre, was almost beyond its sell-by date. There was no guarantee any more that any of the seeds in his packet would ever live. They were moved to a big bin in the centre of the aisles, near the checkout, with a big sign, “Bargain bucket, 10 packets for a pound.” The shop had a new manager, and she wanted to get rid of some of this old stock. If it didn’t sell in a week, she’d throw all of them in the skip.

Six days went by. On the seventh, a little girl called Amy came into the store with her grandmother, who was 86. They went over to the seed packet section and came away shaking their heads. They only had Amy’s pocket money to spend, and all the packets were too expensive. They headed sadly back out, but just as they were passing the checkout, Amy’s Grandma saw the sign. They went over to the bucket, and Amy began to dry her eyes.  She looked at the bin, then at her grandma, who smiled, and then opened her red-mittened palm to check that she did indeed have enough money. The two fifty pence pieces twinkled back at her under the fluorescent lights.

The manager was marching past and paused briefly, mid mission, to say, “No guarantee on these, they may not grow, past their best you see.” She waved the back of her hand at them with a dismissive flick, her duty discharged, and walked on.  Amy’s Grandma frowned, “Well, I’m past my best too, Amy, shall we give them a chance?”  Amy nodded, and put her coins in her pocket whilst they picked out ten packets of seeds.

A day later, the seed’s packet was carefully ripped open, and a small, shaking hand received him with glee, along with many of his brother and sister seeds.
“Now be careful, make sure you trail them along the row, not too close together. Give them room to breathe,” said an adult’s voice that sounded a lot like Grandma. And the seed was astonished to feel fresh, cold air. For a moment, he could not understand what was happening. He had been so long in his prison, that the space all around him was overwhelming.

It was good to be dropped down into something soft and cloying. He felt the urge to nestle down.  Was this, could this be, soil? Soil that he had dreamt about all his long life? And then, before he had time to take this in, there came a drizzle of something wet, along the furrow where his packet had been carefully sown. But the strangest thing of all, was that there was light. He had only vague memories of light, and had begun to think that it had all been a dream, the greenhouse, his mother, the feeling of warmth and growth, and yet, he could see. He truly believed he could see. Not only earth, but sky! It was quite a shock after spending so long in the dark, cold, airless packet. He was silent in wonder.

“Now, cover them over. Carefully, children! Pat them down just a little and give them some more water.  That’s it.”

And no sooner had the seed begun to get used to the light, than it disappeared again. The soil was pushed over him, gently, so that it was not, when he got used to it, so dark as he’d feared. He breathed a long sigh, one that had been trapped in him for a very long time indeed. He had not, as he had at first feared, been put back into a packet, but was where he belonged, in the earth! In the good, mulchy, wonderful, smelly, rich, earth! He wiggled himself comfortable, relishing the freedom of movement which had never been his. How delightful it was to be able to stretch himself and feel alive. He felt a funny feeling in what he supposed were his toes, as they wanted to stretch down into the soil and dance. He felt more moisture from above and the warmth of the sun beating down, even on this cool Spring morning.

Every day after that brought a new surprise, and a new adventure. At first, he felt so full of joy he could split open, and then, very soon, did just that, and those dancing feet pushed out of his casing and down into the good earth. Little tendrils grew out and nuzzled into the soil, sucking up nutrients. The seed was nourished for the first time in his life and he burst into life above as well, pushing a green shoot up through the grains of mud into the air.

In a very few weeks, he was as tall as the children’s wellingtons. They came every day, without fail, and were almost as excited to see the seeds grow as the seeds themselves  were, to be growing. They oohed and aahed, and watered and watched and waited. The plant, for now he was no longer a seed, could see a little sign that read, “Community Garden Project,” and beyond this was a small allotment, and beyond that a trio of tower blocks, where the children all lived. Amy was the sweetest of them all, and tended to her plot with a care and sensitivity that warmed the old lady’s heart, as well as the grateful heart of the seed she had rescued.  He grew as much for her as himself and before he knew it, there was a bud forming at his topmost leaf.

It felt wonderful, finally, to bloom. After so long hidden away, with no idea that he might ever taste the open air, or see the sun, let alone be able to grow and become. He knew what was tucked away inside him, he had always known, but to be given the chance to let it be, that was truly something. No guarantee, just as the manager had said, but here he was all the same, bursting into glorious orange, and filling Amy’s heart and his own, fit to burst with long anticipated joy.

© Keren Dibbens-Wyatt photo from Pixabay

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Overall Conclusions: Fragments to a Whole

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Thank you for joining me on this journey through different ways of seeing and perception. I hope you have enjoyed the photography, insights and humour. I’ve learnt a lot about how we see the world, and how those of us gifted with sight might use it with more discernment and awareness. I hope I’ve managed to communicate some of that through the small glimpses I’ve shared.

Our seeing, like every way we experience life, is rarely objective. We bring to it angles of memory, story, perspective, bias and our human tendency to see patterns and faces in everything (pareidolia). We’ve thought about how our looking and seeing is influenced by these things as well as by light, colour, and how any two things are juxtaposed. We’ve brought in ideas of hope and potential, and we’ve cultivated our sense of wonder.

I hope we have also learned how prayer affects our contemplative seeing. When we centre ourselves in prayer, something amazing happens to our sight. Jesus offers us the opportunity to close our eyes and learn to see, in the darkness, not as the world sees, but through his own sacred vision. Those who have eyes to see are not looking at detail, but at the truth. It is in this spiritual sense that the Pharisees and religious leaders are the blind leading the blind, for they cannot see further than the ends of the noses they use to look down upon the rest of us. This is why we are told to go into our room and close the door when we pray. The sight and distraction of the world will skew our inner vision. We need to see clearly and to begin with, that happens by seeing the whole.

Once we are familiar in prayer with the essence of God’s kingdom, and our place within it, we can look at the detail and know the larger truth it tells us. We will then be able to extrapolate from a butterfly wing or an ear of corn, or from the breath of a donkey, the goodness, wisdom, beauty, truth and mercy of the Living God. Likewise, when God’s Word is known and revered in our hearts, we shall see it played out before us in the swoop of a sparrow, the flowers of the field and the dance of a flame. The whole picture releases the fragments of sight and vice versa, so that in gazing upon the tiny or the large, we can understand that they are both one and the same. We know then that a microbe is as much a wonder of the universe as any nebula.

I hope you have enjoyed this year’s journey with me and The Eye of Horus. Thank you for coming along for the ride. I do not know yet if there will be a new blog next year. I have a lot of books to write and journaling to collate, and a new weekly blog over at Lakelight Sanctuary. We will see where God’s grace leads. At any rate I will continue to post news here and wish all my readers well, and joy for the coming season.

God bless you, Keren

 

Photo and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

198 Born Again (Scripture Conclusions)

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Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

John 3:3 NIV

Seeing using Scripture is a real spiritual eye-opener, and I’m talking as much about our inner eyes as our outer ones. If our heads and hearts are meditating on the Word of God, we will see it written and painted all around us, and hear and touch it too, maybe even taste it. For all of our senses can be caught up in the wonder of Logos, the living Word, the Cosmic Christ in whom all things hold together. The world is passionate about illustrating kingdom truths to us. God’s glory is sung out all around.

The next post will be the last one in this year’s series of Eye of Horus. We will be coming to some overall conclusions about what we’ve learnt, and hopefully some of our fragmentary seeings will begin to form a whole.

photo © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

 

196 A Time for Everything (Scripture 12)

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There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

 

photo © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

 

195 The Narrow Way (Scripture 11)

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“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 NIV

photo © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

 

194 The Just and the Unjust (Scripture 10)

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“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:43-45 ESV)

photo © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt