Let my Heart be Good Soil

Let my heart be good soil

Lord, let my heart be good soil, open to the seed of your word.

Lord, let my heart be good soil, where love can grow and peace is understood.

When my heart is hard, break the stone away.

When my heart is cold, warm it with the day.

When my heart is lost, lead me on your way.

Lord, let my heart, Lord, let my heart be good soil (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 512).

 

Cupping hot coffee in my hands, I gaze outside and watch snow flurries swirling to the ground. My four-year old Isaac and I are at the dining room table. Papers, crayons, and markers lay scattered before us. Clutching a marker in his hand Isaac lifts his head for a moment between drawing wheels and coloring to tell me, “Mama, stay watching me.” It’s just the two of us and I have nowhere else to be. I sip my coffee and gaze at Isaac’s creation coming to life.

“This truck will transform into a seed robot.” He keeps narrating his drawing: the size and color of the seeds, how the seeds flow through the tube, how the driver moves the steering wheel. On and on. “Mama, I’m going to make an orange tank for all the seeds. Mama, look at the seed tank! They need something to hold it up.”

Loving all things trucks and construction, Isaac is no stranger to diggers and dump trucks. Today, though, the seed truck comes from our bible story read during the previous night’s Wednesday Lenten service.

As a church we listened to the parable of the sower and the seed. But not only did we hear the word spoken, we had before us an illumination of that same bible passage. Displayed on a large screen we all focused on the sower scattering seed. We were then invited to create and color in response to that story.

Adults and children alike picked up crayons and colored pencils. God’s word was heard and then brought to life with our own hands. That night I colored next to my children and an older member of the congregation. All of us were immersed in creating and listening; each of us reminded of the power in seeing God’s word in image and color. Isaac turned his coloring sheet to the blank side and started his own truck. I watched him place circles out of one of the pipes. “Look, mama, seeds.”

There were no trucks in the original bible story, yet, Isaac heard ‘seeds’ and used his imagination to bring the bible story to life for him. He was listening, and I was watching and learning from him, too. As a parent and a pastor there’s so much I want to teach my children about God and faith. I want them to know the stories of the Bible. I want them to know the people God has called throughout all time and ages. I want them to feel God’s living presence. Yet, as I watch Isaac make a seed truck I can’t help but give thanks for the faith that is being instilled in him simply by showing up to hear the stories of God’s people. We read the Bible (most) nights over dinner. In worship and Sunday school they hear more Bible stories. And at church this Lent they saw a picture of one interpretation of the sower and the seed and Isaac was invited to make his own creation. God’s word is meant to meet us in our lives wherever we are and however we’re feeling.

It takes a whole community to share faith and instill the biblical stories in others. The seeds of hope and faith and love are being scattered by so many and I’m grateful to not be alone in sharing faith with my children. With every story heard, and in every encounter in worship, seeds are sown. It’s my prayer that my children will continue to hear the hopeful words of others, and take the seeds given to them, and share them lavishly.

Lord, let my heart be good soil, open to the seed of your word.

Lord, let my heart be good soil, where love can grow and peace is understood.

When my heart is hard, break the stone away.

When my heart is cold, warm it with the day.

When my heart is lost, lead me on your way.

Lord, let my heart, Lord, let my heart be good soil (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 512).


// This originally appeared on the author’s blog. Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ELCA pastor, writer and mother. Sign up for my monthly newsletter, Walk and Talk, and receive a free, downloadable resource: Walk and Talk with God: Reflection, Scripture references, and a how-to for your own contemplative walk.

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