Friday, October 8, 2010
Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means. And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”Luke 8:1-8
It has been a real joy to have our youngest with us for a few days, and genuine sadness that she had to go all too soon. All together we have been struggling with the challenges of life and the turns and curves throw our way. Love makes us all ache for each other and desire the best for one another. I would give everything I have that they were all healthy and happy at every moment. We learn more from the challenges, mistakes and failures than we do from our successes and victories. It would be great though, if the learning and growing process were not nearly so challenging and so stretching. Sometimes it feels as if we are beyond our limit and we ache for healing and transformation.
It is all too often we hear of the sacrifice of the disciples, but rarely the sacrificial gratitude of the women, who left their normal lives and came with Jesus, providing for the whole group out of their means. These were women who had their lives changed, the people on whom Jesus relied for his sustenance and care. These women were so filled with love that they would risk giving their all. There were rough times and much ridicule on the road with Jesus. And yet, their lives were lives of abundant, quiet grace. They were the good soil that yielded a hundredfold. They had learned from the painful growth processes in their life and were ready to give their all for the ones they loved.
Today, I pray that I can offer that kind of rich soil to God's work. It is not easy when we have been turned over and weeded. When we have been stretched and grown beyond our comfort zone. But God promises each of us an incredible yield from the hard lessons of life. We will each be given an new measure of love, and a cup that overflows with generosity and compassion.