John 12:24 NRSV
Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
My father used to save all kinds of seeds from the produce of his crops. He would put them on a flat, dry surface and they would lose their moisture and become dormant or die, so to speak. But in reality, the seeds did not die but still maintained their essence. Everything that was needed to make additional produce was all there, in each tiny seed. He would plant them in the ground the next year. The nutrients from the soil and water would bring them back to life and make abundant food for us.
When we reject God and desire to live according to our own wills, are we not in a dormant state? We are not who God had in mind for us to be. Everything is there to make us into vibrant, loving, embracing human beings—full of grace and truth. But we continue to make choices that move us further from the Light. It’s only when we die to ourselves and accept God/Jesus into our lives that we undergo a transformation. We gain the ability to confront our darkness. We begin to understand that it is only in the giving of ourselves to others that we gain meaning and purpose—and peace and joy!
I met a man and, for a year, we worked diligently (totally over the telephone) using his night time dreams to help him overcome his hatred of his earthly father and also God. He ranted: “Where was God while my Dad beat me every day of my life until I ran away at age 16? Yes, I hate both God and my father! No one ever loved me; no one ever cared what happened to me! I have been alone all my life!”
In most of his dreams, everyone was angry with him and hated him. The question was posed: Why would total strangers be angry and hate you? Could it be that those are all the parts of yourself expressing anger and hatred, turned inward? His immediate response was, “Yes, I absolutely hate myself!” He has enough material to fill several volumes. It wasn’t until we discussed that parents who abuse their children were many times abused themselves as children. He admitted that indeed that had happened and that his grandfather was “even meaner than my dad and yes, he did abuse him.” He was able to have some compassion for his dad. Eventually he was able to forgive his earthly father and also God.
Then he had the following dream: “I was dancing on stage (he had been a professional dancer and actor) and it was a dance of joy. There were no guidelines or instructions; no rules; no chains. We were able to dance however we felt joy in our bodies. It was the most exhilarating feeling—a dance of pure freedom and unspeakable joy!”
Since that dream, he has found a church that accepts gays and is very much involved in their theater group. In fact, he has the lead role in an upcoming play. He is now a totally different person who looks for opportunities to serve others. He consciously works to have “the fruits of the Spirit” in his life. He is like that grain of wheat. Everything he needed to be a whole person was there—waiting to be nurtured and watered by God’s grace and love! But along the way, he had to die to his old self of anger and hatred. He had to embrace God’s forgiveness and abundant love before he could bear much fruit.
Prayer: Father, we ask that you bless all of your hurting children and help them to embrace your Love! Amen.