When did we become so hardened? When did we become so shallow? When did we become so thorny? When did we become so desolate?
You know the parable of the sower and the seed? The sower goes to work, to sow the seed, and He does a pretty good job. But some of it falls on hard ground, some of it falls on shallow ground, some of it falls on thorny ground, and some of it falls on desolate ground. Needless to say, these seeds either fail to thrive and bear fruit – they wither and die.
A few days ago, it was heard from a reliable source – a personal contact – of a Syrian pastor who was in emotional agony and turmoil, because a number of his flock had been crucified! Some were children. Not only that, when members of their family went to retrieve the bodies, they were crucified too!
Surely, this is something that should be reported on the news? But, alas, the story falls on ears that are hardened, shallow, thorny or desolate. The story fails to make the news; the story fails to thrive and bear fruit. The story withers and dies.
Nobody is interested!
And that’s the breaking news today – that a story such as that is not news! We fail to see the importance of such an event. We are hardened, we are shallow, we are thorny and we are desolate.
We are hardened to atrocities that seem to be happening all over the world. Some even in our own back garden – in our country. Sex trafficking, for instance, isn’t something that just happens overseas – it takes place in our very own country. Pornography and prostitution has been accepted and even adopted by society – and it feeds the sex trafficking industry, turning innocent young women and girls into sexual objects to satisfy our shallow, thorny and desolate souls. We, as a society, are hardened to it – and turn our backs on it. It’s not news.
We are shallow, and seem to care only for ourselves. Whilst we are surrounded by people in our very own community who rely on food banks to eat, and to feed our children, we simply forget to donate to the food bank, or we forget to buy that extra item for the food bank when we go shopping. We are thinking only of our own need, not the need of others. We are shallow.
We are thorny, and inhospitable to those who so desperately need some sort of comfort. We hear of orphans all over the world, dying of hunger; we see people on the street corner begging for a few pennies. But what do we do? We turn away, we shun and ostracise those who don’t seem to fit in society. We are thorny.
We are desolate, looking to our own desires, forgetting others who are lost, lonely and hurting. Young men, in particular, are more likely to die of suicide than from any other reason; and self-harming is, seemingly, a growing problem for teenagers. But we, as a society, don’t seem to care much. We don’t even talk about it.
So what should we do?
Christians are being crucified; young women and children are being used as sex slaves; people are starving in other countries and on our street corners; young men are self-harming and contemplating suicide!
But the breaking news is – it’s not news. We have become so accustomed to hearing these stories, and seeing the images that go with them, that we have become hardened, shallow, thorny and desolate.
So instead of being hardened, why not be vulnerable and receptive to hear the plight of others; instead of being shallow, why not be deep and tenacious in your determination to do something; instead of being thorny, why not be clear and intentional about your actions to help; instead of being desolate, why not be fruitful and become proactive?
Nobody knows what the answer to all these problems in today’s society is; but maybe someone should try to do something.
The real question for us all, is: “what will I do?”
“Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!” When he had said this, he called out, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”
Please note, if you have been offended by any of the above, I sincerely apologise. I speak also to myself as I write, and none of what is written reflects the views or opinions of anyone other than myself, the author.