Sherri Gragg

Juggler of words and children…collector of pottery shards

A Seed in the Sahara

I just returned from my local garden center.  I loaded my newly purchased perennials and potting soil into the back of my minivan and lowered the windows so the warm Spring breeze could wash all around me on the drive home.  My indulgence for the season, a large Star Jasmine, filled my van with a fragrance that must have originated in Heaven itself and as I steered my beat-up suburban carriage down road I felt like royalty.

I could not help but think back to the Spring and Summer before my girls came home when the gardener in me seemed to have died in the wilderness of wait.  My garden which normally burst forth with vegetables and flowers lay dormant, except for the weeds which flourished unchecked by my hoe and trowel.  I was mourning for my daughters and my garden reflected the barren wilderness of my grief. 

The following Winter, my girls came home at last and when Spring arrived I found my newly mended heart was filled with thankfulness.  So, I went out into my garden, my children with me.  A kind friend had given my new daughters child sized garden tools as a welcome home gift.  Together, we began to clear the weeds that had taken over during the past season of neglect.  Side by side, we cleared away the fruit of sorrow so that we could plant a reflection of our joy in its place.

What a delight it was to introduce my daughters to concepts completely new to them.  Roseline had spent virtually her entire life in within the walls of the orphanage.  Claudine had spent the years from age 3 – 5 there and could remember little else.  With wonder they gazed at the tiny seeds I placed in their hands as I explained that the small seemingly dead kernel would be buried and then bring forth new life.  They gasped in amazement at the thought.

Anything must be possible in this place,” their faces seemed to say.

Day after day, they pleaded to go outside and water their seeds as they waited, full of hope and wonder, for the first small green sprouts to appear.  Then one day, I took them to see the first tender life bursting forth from rich, damp soil and they jumped, clapped and cheered with delight.

Death to life, sustained by the hope of what would be.

It was a picture of my dream of becoming their mother and it was a picture of so much more.  Whenever I plant a seed, which by all  appearances is completely dead and I think about the life it will produce, I am reminded of a Seed buried once so long ago which burst forth with abundant life for all:

“Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.  I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.   The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.   Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

 “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” John 12:23-28

He was willing to lay down his life so that he might bring forth life in us. 

And He calls those of us who have been redeemed by him to live our lives in the same way. 

Over the next few days, I am going to take you on a journey.  Pack your bags and prepare your hearts because we are going to visit a man who took this commandment of Christ seriously.  He stood at the crossroads of his life and faced a decision:  Would he save himself or lay down his life for others?

Come with me to Darfur.  Come with me to meet a Lost Boy who was found.  Come meet a man who planted the seed of his life in the Sahara.

Stay tuned for upcoming stories of Everyday Miracles in Darfur.

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6 comments on “A Seed in the Sahara

  1. Jayleigh
    May 14, 2007

    Ah Sherri!

    “cleared away the fruit of sorrow so that we could plant a reflection of our joy in its place”

    I have never been a gardener. The daughter of a farmer, I have always loved to watch things grow, but I never wanted to tend the growing things. I never wanted to put myself out there and really care for anyone except myself.

    Now our 16 year old niece is with us. I am not number one anymore. That’s OK because I am number one with God.

    But I have found myself with a deep desire to garden, to plant and as you said, to clear away the fruit of sorrow. I wonder if God is putting this desire within me to keep my mind and body occupied, and to give me some of His beautiful creation to look at and tend.

    Todays tests were bad, but my God is greater than any physical or emotional pain I could experience. I rejoice in the Lord!

  2. refinedone
    May 15, 2007

    Hi Sherri…I see you have been busy 🙂

    …I have just been away and I paid a visit to my dad and he said a wonderful thing that I and my hubby took to heart. He said God creates and we pro-create.

    It is an awsome wonder to be part of of His creation (children) He sure must have some much in us that God can trust us with His creation.

    you stay blessed! and greetings to the family.

  3. Kristie
    May 15, 2007

    Sherri,
    I’ve just planted my first-ever vegetable garden because I think it will be something I enjoy and something that my children and I can enjoy doing together. I’m still like a child when I see flowers spring open from a dead-looking plant and I know I’ll be thrilled if I see a vegetable grow from the seed I put into the ground yesterday. But thank you for putting to words deeper meaning to the wonder of it all, and reminding me of the parallel of the ultimate Seed that was buried to bring abundant life. I am blessed by your writing, Sherri! I’m looking forward to your series on Darfur.

  4. firefly8868
    May 15, 2007

    A beautiful, poignant post. I could picture the scene so vividly of you and your daughters planting their first garden.

    Warmly,
    firefly

  5. totaltransformation
    May 15, 2007

    “My indulgence for the season, a large Star Jasmine, filled my van with a fragrance that must have originated in Heaven itself and as I steered my beat-up suburban carriage down road I felt like royalty.”

    I wish I had the money to stock my garden like I want to. It still needs so much work.

  6. redbarn
    May 16, 2007

    Sherri,
    Another story of yet another seed of hope you have planted!
    I have tagged you for a “7 things about myself” meme ~ have fun if you’d like!
    Blessings,
    Redbarn

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This entry was posted on May 14, 2007 by in adoption, Africa, Bible, children, Christianity, culture, Darfur, family, God, hope, inspiration, motherhood, parenting.
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