“They tried to bury us; they did not know we were seeds.” – Mexican proverb
I’ve been coming across metaphors and stories involving soil and seeds consistently over the past few days. I didn’t want to keep ignoring them as a coincidence, and it made me think about how often seeds are used as examples in Bible stories. The Mexican proverb I quoted was one that someone found at work a few weeks ago, and it sparked my initial thoughts. Take a moment to read the quote again. Let it sink in. From just the basics of what we know about seeds, we realize that these words are powerful.
It is no wonder that the quote was adopted by protestors and fighters in Mexican uprisings. Originally, the quote was written by a Greek poet named Dinos Christianopoulos. He wrote: “What didn’t you do to bury me/But you forgot that I was a seed.” The words are both challenging and empowering—a call to rise up in the midst of persecution. Whether or not this empowers us to stand against widespread oppression or simply smaller personal struggles, I think it gives us strength and a starting point for deeper thought. Seeds are used to represent new beginnings.
A few days after I first read this quote, my pastor spoke about the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this parable, it is about a farmer who plants seeds on different types of soil: the shallow soil doesn’t allow the seeds to take root, the seed among the thorns is choked, but the seed sown on good soil grows and multiplies. But as my pastor pointed out, parables are meant to draw us deeper into the story—to create a yearning that is much stronger than simple curiosity. In this parable, Jesus explains that the seeds represent God’s Word, and the varying soils are the ways in which we choose to receive His message. “But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown” (Matthew 13:23). I am challenging myself to do more than just read the Bible. I want to understand it and let God’s love grow in me and spread to others. Seeds can represent growth, strength, and health.
Seeds also lie dormant for long periods of time. When conditions are right—fertile soil, sunshine, nutrients, water—these seeds transform into something completely different. They don’t technically die, but they give up their identity as a seed to become a new vibrant, growing plant. This metamorphosis reminds me of 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Seeds may not die before a plant begins to grow from them, but they must become something completely new. I see this as another challenge. We have to give up the things that define us in the world and take on our new identities as followers of Christ. Seeds represent change.
One last thought from Psalm 1: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” God’s Word is the never-ending stream of water, and if we choose to be planted next to Him, we will grow strong and be blessed. That’s a promise that I’d like to hold onto, and I pray that all of us will remember.