The Seed Sweep by Virginia Hughes

Seeds, wherefore art thou?

I harvested you last fall.

You were dried, and put into labeled envelopes for safekeeping. As I search the logical places; are you here? No, I can't find you. Jesus told a parable about a woman who looked for a lost coin. She swept the house until she found it. When she found it, she was so happy, she told everyone and had a party to celebrate. What jubilation in finding something important that was lost. The point of the parable is how much greater joy there is in the kingdom when one lost soul is found. Souls are obviously way more important than seeds. A much lesser point, yet practical, is maybe I should sweep my whole house if I'm going to ever find those seeds. Alright, let the sweeping begin.

Seeds, am I going to find you? 
You are of no use hidden away at planting time. Remember the guy who so proudly hid his talents to keep them safe, only to face an angry master who wasn't happy when his servant did nothing with those buried talents? Well, do not return to this home, master, because I can't even dig up a hidden talent right now. Instead I read about a date palm seed that germinated after being hidden for over two thousand years. Someone else claims to have germinated an even older seed. I don't want to wait, much less look for two thousand or thirty thousand years for lost seeds, but there’s always next year. I'm not giving up.

Seeds, where are you?
I care so much for you that I lost all track of you. It's embarrassing. I am nothing like the good shepherd finding the lost lamb and tucking the little love safely back into the fold. We relish the care of the good shepherd. I thought I kept you seeds closely tucked into my end table drawer, but you aren't there. I will keep looking.

Seeds, what’s the big deal?
I could buy any kind of seed nearly anywhere right now, but I don't want just any old seeds. I want my seeds. The zinnia seeds that grow three to four feet tall and branch out like small shrubs with giant flowers resembling small roses and dahlias in full bloom all summer. The smaller bright orange Lilliput zinnias named after the island of tiny people in “Gulliver’s Travels.”

Seeds, I am also missing . . .
where are you, Hyacinth bean vine seeds? Tough looking beans as hard as pebbles, which must be soaked before planting. They send up heart shaped leaves on deep burgundy stems with exotic purple and white orchid shaped flowers. Within a few weeks, the vine rambles up a small fence or covers a castle’s walls in a fairytale. Their growth potential is intimidating with botanical intellect and primeval secrets growing straight up for Jack to climb the beanstalk. The purple bean pods hang in burnished bunches in the spectacular autumn sun.

Seeds, that feed us . . .
You endearing and delicious Box Car Willie tomato seeds with your cute and storied name. These are named either for homeless men who rode the train rails during the Great Depression, carrying these seeds around as gifts. Or, they are named for Box Car Willie, a country singer, who sang songs about trains, depending on whose story you believe. The tomatoes from these vintage seeds are bountiful, beautiful and full of heirloom flavor.

Seeds, are full of hope . . .
The smallest seed I ever planted was a poppy seed which looks like the period at the end of a sentence. Then I learned there are even smaller seeds. Certain orchids from the tropical rain forest produce the world's smallest seeds with one seed weighing one 35 millionth of an ounce. These seeds are dispersed into the air like minuscule dust particles, ultimately landing in the upper canopy of the rain forest where they attach to trees and get flecks of sunlight and humidity driven moisture enough to survive. Orchid seeds are smaller than a mustard seed, but remember the mustard seed was the measure for how much faith it takes to move mountains. We learn it's not the size of one’s faith but the power source the faith plugs into that makes all the difference. Mustard seeds float around in pickle jars if you want to see how little those are.

But what if you don't have seeds? Then what? What if there is no seed to plant? Ground won't stay bare unless it's blazing hot dessert sand with no rain, or steaming volcanic ash. Seed is wind-borne. It's dropped by birds and buried by squirrels and mice, and other critters. There are all sorts of seeds, but they aren't all worthy of your time. It's wise to be selective. I want to plant beneficial seed that is watched, watered and tended in my garden and in my life.

Seeds, are worth looking for. . .
Their existence proves there is something that came before the seed. Or better, someone, who created all things including seed bearing plants. So, I'm praying to the someone who knows where I stored my seeds. While I look for my lost seeds, I pray that the Lord will help me find them.

Seeds we can't lose . . .
These are the prayers we plant in our lives today, right now, when we talk to God about everything. He prompts us to care for each other. Call a friend. Open a door. Walk with a neighbor. Practice forgiveness. Listen to a lonely voice. Read the Bible. Provide a ride to someone who cannot drive. Share a meal. Smile.

And I'll keep looking for my seeds as I sweep my house clean.

Update from Virginia: Lost seeds found. I just found my missing seeds in the bottom of a drawer, turned over with other envelopes placed on top of them. WhenI emptied the drawer, I wondered, "Why are these envelopes in here all haphazardly?" I didn't think they were my seeds at all. I reached in to straighten out the envelopes I figured were empty. Then the most welcome sound of seeds shifting met my ears. They are labeled and accounted for.  lifted out one after another of the envelopes and felt a rush of relief and gladness.