Letters to Jesus (Similes, Metaphors & Paradoxes)- 1
The stories You told to help teach people about their relationship with God and others are full of similes and metaphors. You knew that sometimes we learn better about ourselves through things around us which we know better than ourselves – things we study, ponder and deal with in our outer world more than things we ignore within us. You used things like: leaven, a pearl, sheep, a banquet, and a coin to help people understand what seemed mysterious. By category the greatest number of metaphors You used came from “growing things,” probably because this was an area of familiarity with the greatest number of people of Your time. There were fig trees, soil, vineyards, and weeds that You used. And within this category Your most used metaphor was that of a seed. It is that image which catches me now and makes me reflect upon how I am a seed planted on this earth.
Seeing oneself as a seed planted on earth conjures up images of all that is needed for that seed to flourish, and all that fights against that seed’s flourishing. The world is the soil in which we grow or perish. It is the medium that contains everything we need to grow as well as everything that can prevent that growth. It is good soil. It is bad soil. That which makes the soil good is our accepting it and using it for our growth. That which makes it bad is embracing it as an end in itself. In that case it offers not fertility and good for others but only self-gratification.
Light and rain are like the various forms of Your grace in our lives. If we shelter ourselves in the shade where these cannot touch us, we cannot take root. We wither. So many of the conditions by which our seed might flourish are dependent upon our disposition toward them. To spiritually take root, grow, and blossom is what we were meant to do and, ultimately, dying, to have our seed live on. Just as the seed must go into the ground dead in order to rise, so must we. But it is more than just the death that ends physical life. It is the constant dying to self by which we are reborn daily within life. The seed that is me comes from and returns to the root or the vine that is You. I am a seed planted on this earth.