Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Lovin'

Spring and summer collided yesterday, with a hot, rainy, sunny, breezy, something-for-everyone kind of day. I, a decidedly indoor kind of person, was out in it as my church hosted a block party. And the crazy-wonderful weather only enhanced the event. There we were - people from the neighborhood, people from the church, people from all over the world - gathered to listen to music played by our house band, a Liberian band, an Indonesian band, and a one-man-band from Puerto Rico. Kids were playing soccer on a nearby patch of grass. Sausages were cooking on the grill. It was a nice way to kick off summer.

East met "west" last weekend as I became acquainted with the family and friends of my almost-son-in-law in Maryland. I haven't spent much time on the East coast and was charmed by our nation's capital and the people I met there. I was struck by how lush everything was; not what I expected at all, and a wonderful respite from the Texas drought. Everyone involved loved the bride or groom, which, like the music at the block party, drew us together. It was a really nice way to kick off their new family.

At Vacation Bible School last week, kids from our church, our neighborhood, and their friends and cousins from all over the place gathered to learn about the Sower and the Seed. It seems the Sower is busy - planting everywhere. Not just where there is a guarantee of success, but everywhere. Some seeds struggle in rocky shallow soil, with barely any roots, but still stretching upward. Other seeds grow in spite of thorny, clinging and clawing weeds that try to hold them back, while others are carried off by birds to eventually grow in soil that may be rocky or thorny or nourishing. Some seeds land in good soil and produce in abundance.

It seems that, in the end, we all had the same beginning. Some of us were blessed to be born into families that are good soil, rich in nutrients, with sunlight and water plentiful. Some of us are born into families where the soil is rocky, where the stuff we need to grow is hard to come by, yet somehow, against the odds, we rise toward the sun. Others of us have to fight from the first day as weeds of mental illness, addiction,  or ignorance work against us as we try to grow. A few of us were carried away from our original patch of earth by war, or adoption, or a dream of a better life to unknown soil. Yet all of us were planted by the same hand. Isn't knowing that a nice way to kick off some new relationships? 

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