When I see that first, miniscule, curled, pale
green wisp of a sprout poking up between a couple of
grains of vermiculite, I hear God speaking.
Seed plants date back about 365 million years ago to the Paleozoic era. These wondrous pieces of antiquity vary greatly in size: the smallest being the dust-like seed of orchids and the largest, weighing as much at times as 50 pounds, being the fruit of the coco de mer, the double coconut palm. A typical seed is composed of 3 basic parts: 1. an embryo, 2. a supply of nutrients for the embryo, and 3. a seed coat that protects the embryo from injury or from drying out. Seeds have two points of growth, one which forms the stem of the plant and the other where the roots of the plant form. Some seeds have wings or hairs and are dispersed by the wind. Others are buoyant and float in rivers to the oceans and wash up on beaches; then there are those that are dispersed in various ways by animals. Given the fascinating science of seeds, how they work and how tiny some of them are, how could one not hear fertile whispers from God in them.
Each seed, regardless of its size, is a sacred promise. The dictionary defines a promise as: 1. a declaration that something will or will not be done or given, or as 2. an express assurance on which expectation is to be based, and seeds definitely declare what the Lord has done and given and what we as His children can expect. Special mention of seeds and their promise is made on the 3rd day of the Genesis story where we can see that plants and trees are profuse manifestations of “this seed force.” Plants and trees have been coming forth for millions of years and come forth yet. During the unseen holy hours of nurturing, the “seed force” reaches down into the darkness of the earth’s “concealed depths” therein to be sustained by water. In the Celtic tradition the moisture in earth’s soil is a “symbol of the waters of God that enfold and infuse all things.” God’s goodness, deeper than any evil, then can be seen at the inception and very heart of life. J. Philip Newell says that “everything that is born in the great matrix of life is sustained by roots that reach into the deep mystery of God’s life.” The image which Newell’s words paint of all life reaching deep into God’s life is what, for many of us, shapes songs of joy and praise, for there is no more comforting, good, or safe place in the world than the heart of God!
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. ~Isaiah 55:10-11 ✝