Meditation on The Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-10, 13-20.
Last Fall I took part in a poverty simulation exercise at CareSource – a nonprofit managed health care plan headquartered in Dayton, Ohio. Although the participants were playing a role in these simulations, they were, nonetheless based on real life situations taken from real people in poverty.
I played the role of a single mother with two children in school. There was a list of things to do within specified time-frames, which included going to one agency to pick up a voucher for rent, to another for a voucher for gas, then go to a job fair and fill in an application, and on to a juvenile court for an incident my son was involved in.
One of the lessons learned in these simulations is how chaotic life in poverty is. Although I managed to get the job I applied for, I lost it just as fast because of the chaos in my life. I had vouchers in my hands for help but juggling through the agencies was a nightmare. In the end, I was still staring at some of those vouchers when time ran out.
In this parable of the sower, Jesus said, “Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain”.He also interpreted the thorns as worries of this life, and often we interpret them as the worries of the wealthy.
At the clinic where I serve as chaplain, after our morning devotions, I call those patients who filled in prayer request forms to let them know that we prayed for them and to encourage them to know that they are not alone. A few minutes into the phone call and I discover the patient is driving. Others, as we talk about appointments that they missed and I hear, “there is nobody to look after the kids for me to go to the appointment”.
These are the people that Jesus compared to the “other seed which fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain”.
- Mark 4-5 (whatshotn.wordpress.com)