Mark 4:18

Those meant by the seed sown among the brambles are different; they are the people who hear the message,

to what
shall you
be compared
you other

weak seed
poorly planted
fruit less
faith less

yes less
than expected
of one
of us

no crown
of stars
for you
in heaven

We are now completing the third difficult spot for partnering with G*D, Jesus, Word, Way, Spirit. The original noted three settings wherein we struggle—emptiness (impenetrable, hardpacked soil), insufficiency (shallow soil without water resources), and overgrownness (already occupied soil claiming life-needed resources).

Initially we have a very gracious and prodigal sowing of seed into structurally problematic places.

In this extended explanation, there is a shift from focusing on the seed as “word” to the seed being “you and me” and our soil-ness that is too hard, too shallow, too weedy.

Our hearts follow our experience of “hard love” and are in turn hardened. Our reserves are too limited to sustain time with parables and the growth they carry with them (our Daily Minimum Requirement of parabolic thinking is lacking). Our inability to stand against established institutions and traditional proverbs excuse our engagement with expectant mercy and practiced prophetic justice.

It is not just our landing in inhospitable times and places that pose difficulties, but our expectations for others to live up to. These distract them from completing their rounds just as we have been distracted by our internal and learned desires for more comfort.

This is not easy to follow—the very kinds of soils we complain have kept us from an abundant harvest are the very kinds of soil we provide for others in their journey.

We have experienced dark nights of the soul and have provide dark night soil to others. We have been guilty of forced enthusiasm just because something is too new to us for us to recognize its limits and longer-term consequences. We have found ourselves in stations of low degree, hazed by our seniors into one conformity or another and passed along our privileges as a limit on others.

Seed/Soil, Word/Grace, You/Me are all positive pairings to bounce off one another to evaluate our Hospitality/Mutuality health.

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