Grace to you!
Stories are powerful tools, very effective in communication. During one of my classes in rhetoric and public speech, our teacher insisted that if we wanted to be effective speakers, we must try to develop story-telling skills. I don’t know about your own experience, but I look back to my college and high school years and I realize the most boring teachers I had were people not able to teach through stories. There classes were dry and drab.
Did you know that Jesus was one of the most powerful and effective storytellers in ancient history? Many of his teachings were developed through stories. Some were stories of current events and others were by comparisons – what we call parables. Take for instance the parables of the kingdom as recorded in the Gospel of Mark Chapter 4.
Jesus told four parables; the parable of the sower, the parable of lamp, the parable about seeds, and finally, the parable of the mustard. You may want to read those parables at your leisure because they are powerful; beautifully developed stories.
Let me reflect briefly on the parable about seeds recorded in Mk 4:26-29. It’s a continuation of the parable of the sower during which Jesus described how a sower (a person, a preacher) sows the Word of God, and some seeds fell on rocky ground, on the wayside, on thorns and the last on good soil. Those which fell on the wayside, rocky ground and thorns died off. Whereas, those sowed on good soil germinated and grew and produced numerous seeds. So, Jesus wanted to describe how the actual growth of these seeds that fell on good soil grew. Hence, he used the parable of the seed to teach it.
This parable assures us of some points about how the growth of the seed takes place. First there must be the planting, sowing the seed of the Word of God because if you don’t it can’t germinate. As St. Paul said, there must be a preacher, a witness (Romans 10:14). So, do not desist from bearing witness to the Gospel. How your witness grows isn’t within your power, insofar as you have sown the word and it fell on good soil; that is, in hearts open for God, it is by the power of God’s grace that growth takes place. It may take months and years, but it must grow gradually, not necessarily dramatically. It’s only on few occasions, like in the case of the Conversion of St. Paul, as recorded in Acts of the Apostles 9, that God uses a dramatic power of conversion.
The growth will lead to production of seed. Therefore, growth leads to further fruit for the kingdom. The convert becomes the converter. Growth improves evangelization on the part of the preacher.
Thus, if you have been witnessing to your child who has left the faith, a colleague, a friend, etc., and it seems your message is falling on deaf ears, do not throw in the towel. Keep on sowing the seed, positively, lovingly by your life example, and when possible, by words. It is God who touches the heart and he will touch their hearts at his time.
God love you. God bless you.