Sunday, 14 June 2015

A story is like a mustard seed

10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Daily Gospel with a prayerful heart.
By Susanne Timpani (No.130)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 4:26-34
He also said, "The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come."

He also said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade."

With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

Stories begin as a small seed. The inspiration for a book can be prompted by a seemingly insignificant conversation, a news announcement, a scene in a coffee shop or a day at the beach. A writer recognizes the inspiration and develops it. The seed is nurtured through brainstorming, researching, writing, editing and gradually the story takes shape.

For an author of a spiritual work, whether fact or fiction, the extra ingredient of prayer is added to the mix. There is an element of powerlessness we humans have in the creation of our stories. Gardners and farmers plant and nurture seeds. Each day they can celebrate the plant’s growth. While they may be able to explain the science behind its development, they have no power to make the process work. 

The desire of any writer is to reach countless readers. The desire of Christian writers is to touch reader's lives, whether to bring healing, hope or inspiration. We have no power over that. Except through prayer.

5 minutes: READ the text slowly.
REFLECT on a phrase or word that struck you.
SPEAK to God about your thoughts.
5 minutes: LISTEN to God speak to you.
RESPOND with a prayer that feels right for you.

Next Reflection: Jane Borg June 17th, 2015