This week, the lectionary cycles back to mustard seeds, which reminds me of a children's sermon that I preached in 2012. I had found a jar of mustard seeds, which was so cheap that I should have bought several.
I came up with the idea of sprouting them much too late--or so I thought. But I wrapped them in some damp paper towels, which I kept damp. Much to my surprise, in just 4 days, they looked like this:
It took nothing more: not special food, not sunlight, no enriched soil. Just cover and dampness.
I've been thinking about seeds, how tiny they are:
I've been thinking about how quickly seeds sprout with just the slightest encouragement. We've been having luck with growing plants in pots. We've had a good crop of tomatoes--although in future years, we should grow them in bigger pots, so that we get bigger tomatoes. Our rosemary is lovely. Our basil . . . well, the basil plants give me a way to transition to my next point.
It's getting hotter, and some of our plants are looking quite wilted. Our basil has dried to a crisp. No more basil will be coming from that plant. I have lovely petunias, but they don't seem to have any desire to grow up and over the edges of the planter boxes.
We might be feeling a bit wilted ourselves. For myself, it's been a rollercoaster of a week at work. On Wednesday, we had a special mandatory meeting for full-time faculty announced the following day. I didn't get much sleep that night. As I said to a colleague, "I doubt they're bringing us in to give us a bonus check."
The news announced was not as bad as it could be: voluntary faculty separation packages. Of course, if not enough people volunteer, the next round will be non-voluntary. On Thursday night, I didn't get much sleep either.
There will be implications, of course. I will be left to staff classes, whether or not people leave willingly or not. I'm still not sleeping well. I may not have even a mustard seed of faith.
But I have practices, and I can rely on those. I pray for us all. I listen to Godspell on my way to work and remind myself that I am the light of the world. I am there to listen to everyone who needs me to have time for them. I have tissues, should my skills as hospice chaplain for my organization be required. I pray some more.
And then, I pray again. I keep my little seeds of faith damp with my prayers and my tears.
feeling the feelings…
5 months ago