Thursday, October 29, 2009
"As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” Matthew 13:23
I made a pastoral visit with a young girl of thirteen who is facing some surgery. She had a few anxious days and as I met with her and her mother I saw their deep fear that was covered well by a brave face. It seems as if the outcome will be fine for this child, but I also remember how hard it was to be in junior high (now middle school) and faced with a perplexing problem that scared my parents completely. I was also facing surgery as a young girl, and the outcome wasn't nearly certain because the diagnostic equipment in those days was nothing compared to what we have today. And yet, they still wait for results and hold their breath until the doctor calls. I remember well how that felt and how everyone was brave around me, including me. I understand at the core of my being what it means to be facing an unknown ordeal like surgery.
Jesus tries to explain to his disciples what the parable of the wheat means. But in truth, real understanding come from experience and from God's blessings in our lives. Having been through a harrowing experience, I can well understand the sorrow and anxiety of another. Without that kind of understanding, experience and blessing, it is so hard to take in others words or the experiences of others.
Today, I want to remember that understanding requires experience and the willingness to live in uncomfortable skin. Understanding others, we abide in our awkwardness so that we might learn and grow in faith and love. Understanding is a gift from God, and with understanding we can all grow God's justice and love in our corners of the world. May this be a day of abundant growth and understanding.