A few Sundays back, John McKellar was exploring that teaching from Jesus we’ve come to call “the parable of the sower.”  It’s in Matthew 18:1-8, with a followup explanation (because it’s not a good parable if it doesn’t confuse most everyone hearing it) in v 18-23.  In the parable, Jesus identifies four kinds of soil, one of which is hospitable to plants and three of which prevent thriving growth.

Dr. McKellar pointed out that it’s our tendency to try to sort everyone into one category or another, but the reality is that, at any given moment,  we humans have hearts that can be described all four ways at the same time.  At any given moment, we all have parts of our hearts that:

  • we’ve hardened against God’s message of love for us and our kind
  • we’ve filled with rocks that keep anything from taking root, so we give up as soon as the going gets tough.
  • we’ve mixed thorny weeds in with the fruit, so the good stuff gets the life choked out of it, while the prickly thorns remain to hurt us and the people we love.
  • we’ve tended well, so the remain soft and receptive to the things God would plant there to bring life and health for ourselves and our neighbors.  
As if that didn’t complicate things enough, God’s also entrusted us to plant these seeds of his message to humanity.  So here we are, thorny, good, rocky, hard people, trying to share God’s hope, peace, and love in other hard, rocky, thorny, good people.  No wonder it’s so difficult to follow Jesus! 
Anyway, I found that whole idea so interesting that I was convinced there had to be a song in it somehwere, so I went looking for it. The song below is what I found.  You can find a recording of it on MediaFire here or from my MySpace profile.

The Farmer is the Field
Verse 1
  How many people have to walk this way
  to make the ground this hard?
  How many times, the same old wound
  That made this concrete of my heart?
  Hard li—-ving
   Living with a ha——-rd heart
                      Living like I’m hardly
Verse 2
  The broken place along
the edge,
  webbed with cracks and caked with dirt,
  the sort of home where hope can sprout
  But withers through the
bitter hurt.
 Dry li—-ving
         Living with a dry heart
Living like I’m hardly living.
Verse 3
Around the borders of
the field
grow thorns and fruitful vines.
but all the fruit of love and peace
is choked by greed on every side.
Choked li—-ving
         Living with a strangled heart
Feeling like I’m barely breathing.
Bridge 1
  This is the gift I’ve
brought my King: 
  this walking box of
  It’s hard and rocky, thorned and good, 
  it’s ransom put you in
the earth.
Verse 4
  Through it all, I still
  Lord, help my unbelief.
  Expand the fertile, open land
  so it will nurture every seed.
  Whole li—-ving
    Living with a whole heart.
               It’s your Life I’m living.
Bridge 2
  This is the gift I bring
my King:
  a heart that’s fully yours.
  Transform these stones
and rocks and weeds
  Until they’re fit for something

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