Last summer, my youngest and I were in the shed making preparations to spray paint some outdoor furniture. I was trying to get the paint, the tape and other items that would be needed to do a good job. He was holding the paint, and begging to be allowed to do the spraying. Thinking that he couldn‘t make too much of a mess outside, I suggested that I would get things ready and he could paint. As soon as he got permission he disappeared, and I continued gathering supplies for a few more moments in the shed. When I walked outside he had already began painting the furniture. The problem was that it was leaning against the house, and spray paint was on the furniture and house. “SON, what are you doing?” I exclaimed. “Why didn‘t you move the furniture away from the house before you started?” To which he replied…”My job was to paint. Your job was to get things ready.”
It sort of reminds me of the parable of the Sower that Jesus told (Matthew 13:1-8). In it Jesus describes a farmer lavishly sowing seeds on the road, on rocky ground, among thorns and even in the good soil. The parable is intended to speak to the various conditions of people‘s hearts when they hear the word of God. But it also suggests to me that as God lavishly sows the seeds of grace in the world…it becomes our responsibility to help clear the rocks and thorns so that the seeds have a better chance of growing. God sows…we prepare.
We are surrounded by people who need the word of God in their lives. But they need to do more than just hear it…they need to feel it. They need to feel it in our touch, in our concern and in our embrace. That is our job as a Christian. God will lavishly sow the seeds, we need to move the rocks.