We Are Seeds

 – by Jonah Evans

A contemplation inspired by the gospel reading for last Sunday, Matthew 5.

It is the height of summer and the lush green fullness of life is all around us. But the vibrant colors, fragrances and nourishing forces of summer all come from something other than what we see now. All of this fullness and glory began as a seed.

Each one of us – every soul on this earth – is also a seed, a seed that will hopefully blossom into a true human being. A secret of inner Christianity is that we are only seed and as seed, not yet truly human, only potentially so! But unlike nature, we cannot just sit in the sun and water our toes in order to become who we are meant to be. For the fruit of our true humanity only ripens in us through growing towards the spiritual-sun of selfless love. Selfless love springing to life in our souls is the true human being, everything else only seed.

And yet, there are so many weeds that would choke this growing, so many temptations in our souls that would hinder our becoming truly human in this world. Criticizing others and ourselves chokes our ability to love our brothers and sisters. Needing to be right, the desire to win and be successful in the eyes of this world are all weeds that would block our way. Or the weed of blame, especially if our blame is justified, hinders our ability to love those who betray us, to love those who break our hearts. But in light of the tragic killing that is taking place all over the world these days, perhaps the most difficult weed of all, is the temptation to think that violence is justified and reasonable especially in self defence. For there is nothing that would make us more truly human than if love for our enemies blooms in our hearts.

For in the light of the true human being that is to come, all violence of any kind, is anti-human, anti-Christ and comes from the beast in us even if the world says its justified.

Until we love we are only unworthy creatures, seeds of possibility, groping in the dark soil.

Sacrificial love in freedom is not only what Christ is, it is what we are meant to become.

Jonah Evans is a priest in The Christian Community in Toronto.  You can learn more here: http://www.thechristiancommunity.org / http://www.ccgwb.org

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2 thoughts on “We Are Seeds

  1. I forwarded it to a friend who has been living in the prison world for over half his life now. This was his response:
    “I just finish reading that article, and although i agree with his sentiment on love and us being only seeds, i disagree with him regarding violence even in self defense. I stand before you as a man that loves deeply, even for the man that means me harm. However, god has made it possible for me to use logic and reason to the point that i will use just enough force needed to protect myself and those that i love. Even Jesus tell his followers to buy weapons for self defense. I live here everyday in the mist of prison yard soldiers that will kill me dead if I am do not fight when the time comes, this does not mean that i don’t have the love of Christ in my heart, only that i love the life that god has given me, and i will protect it with all that is within me.” ~ Jovan

    • Dear Mary,
      Dear Jovan,

      I have to say I agree with Jovan in many ways. This article was written by my friend and colleague, Jonah Evans, and I wonder if he had a chance to explore the question of Christ and violence in more detail what he would write. I believe Paul Chappell has worked the different layers of non-violent action out in really wonderful ways, exploring those moments in life where the right response, the courageous, loving response to agression and violence coming at you is to repel it with physical force. He even brings in examples of quotes and actions from Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. that show they stood behind the use of force in those situations where it was the only effective option left to stand up for one’s family, dignity or rights. In fact, they promoted non-violent action because it was more effective and powerful, not because it was passive and non-confrontational.
      But this just begins to scratch the surface on this very deep and important question and I think it was brushed over too quickly in this piece as a part of another picture that the author was trying to point to, that is the seed of loving humanness that has a chance to grow in us if we cultivate it. Thanks for sharing this, Mary, and give my warmest greetings and respect to your friend, Jovan!

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