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Leave seeds behind like smiles to strangers in the street.

Today I read Matthew 13:1-23 known as 'The Parable of the Sower', in it, Jesus tells of a farmer who drops seeds and depending on the ground and circumstances of those seeds some bear no fruit and some grow. The interpretation I've heard of this parable before is that Jesus and his disciples could sow seeds everywhere but that they weren't responsible for the faith of those people. It was only up to them to tell people about God and share His love, it wasn't up to them to ensure everyone came to faith in God.

But today, something else stood out for me, and once I noticed it, I could not get the idea out of my mind! “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he went some fell along the path" (Matthew 13: 3-4).

The Farmer dropped some seeds along the path! The lifestyle he was living left something behind wherever he went! This isn't the main focus of the parable but for me this is hugely important.

'Live your life so that the love of God is left behind you like a trail of seeds marking where you have been.' - I love the imagery attached to that idea - imagine if we could actually see that! If we could see the glory of God like a trail of light left behind by those of faith.

I want to live a life that leaves a pathway of seeds piled high behind me as I go. I want to leave crumbs of God's love on every path I walk on and in every person I meet.

In reality, a few seeds aren't going to fall out of my clothes and draw a line behind me as I go. Because the seeds we leave behind aren't literal seeds but are tokens of faith that cannot be seen as obviously as the seeds in the parable.

Just because they aren't physical seeds though does not mean that you can't see the impact of God's love in the lives you touch. I know of lots of Christian people who have spoken to people with love and joy without mentioning Christ, and those they have spoken to questioned 'what's different about you?' 'you aren't like other people' and the Christian person has responded that the thing that makes them different is a faith in God!

We may not see a trail of seeds falling on the path behind us as we walk through life. But people can see something in us that is different and that leaves an impression on them like a seed falling.

Some people will further consider that seed, some will turn to faith because of that seed, some will ignore your seed and keep their distance from God. That's okay, you aren't responsible for the faiths of all those people, you just need to keep dropping your seeds.

I love that the farmer in this parable drops seeds on the path by accident. The life he lives meant that without intention or planning, he dropped seeds everywhere he walked. His intention was to take seeds to the nourishing soil that would make the seeds grow. But on his way he left seeds EVERYWHERE.

Have you ever smiled at a stranger? It's probably something you've done at some point in your life. You may also have noticed that if you catch the eye of a stranger on the street or on the train or at work or in the playground - that stranger often will smile back!

(Occasionally they will look at you like you're crazy and briskly walk the other way, but trust me they are the minority!) Most of the time the person smiles back, sometimes the person will say hello, occasionally they will start a conversation, and every now and then, they start a friendship - all because of that smile, that moment of friendly joyful expression.

Imagine that smile is a seed that falls behind you on the path, in the minority of occasions the person who sees that smile and picks up that seed will throw it away give you a funny look and briskly walk the other way, most of the time, the person will acknowledge your seed politely and smile, sometimes they will see your seed and offer you a greeting, occasionally that seed will cause the person to start a conversation with you and you can tell them about Christ, and every now and then, the person sees your seed and starts a conversation and from that starts a relationship between them and Christ!

Live a life that leaves seeds behind, it's okay if people run away or if they just smile, and it's amazing if your seed brings them to Christ - but remember it's not your responsibility to make sure that the seed is received and brings them to Christ, you can't make people believe you can't make people love.

You are called to live a life of love and to let Christ live in you so that you leave seeds behind everywhere you go.

Leave seeds behind like smiles to strangers in the street. And be open to share the love of Christ with those who see your seeds and say hello!

You received God's love freely, go out and leave seeds of love as freely as you received them. And live a life so full of God's love that those seeds fall from you as if falling from the pockets of a farmer onto every patch of land he walks on.

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