Rock, Seed, Heart

Never mind paper, scissors, stone. Let’s play rock, seed, heart.

On this morning’s walk on the North Yorkshire Coast, we came across this rock.

The way that the water naturally flows around the rock makes it look a little like a heart, with veins, or branches, or roots.

And so, of course, a conversation began about what the similarities might be between a rock, a seed, and a heart; between veins of water, plant, and flesh. Our reflections led us to the understanding that:

  • A rock interrupts the flow of water which, nevertheless, finds new routes, carves it’s own path, continues to flow around the rock.
  • A human heart pumps, intentionally drawing blood into itself, and pushing blood out. This is an intentional, necessary action. Pumping too fast is just as dangerous as pumping too slow.
  • A seed splits open, allowing life to grow out of it. It is no longer a seed, but becomes roots and, eventually, branches.

Should churches, and the people that fill and embody them, be like the rock the heart or the seed?

I wonder if:

If we are like rocks, life will flow around us. We will not be stumbling blocks (1 Cor. 10.32), even if we would like to be, because life will go on without us. We will not grow but will eventually, naturally, die. Does trying to hard to be distinctive from society and societal values turn us into rocks? Unmoveable and irrelevant? Passed by?

If we are like hearts, life will be intentionally pumped into and out of us. Sometimes we will not pump hard enough (Luke 6.38) and life will not flow in. Sometimes we will pump too hard (1 Cor. 13) and life will not flow out. Does resignation and fear turn us into slow-pumping hearts? Does work for work’s sake turn us into fast pumping hearts? Are we still able to welcome in new life? Are we still able to give out love-filled life? Do we need to let go and trust God to be the heart?

If we are like seeds (Matthew 17:20), we must break to grow (Mark 14.58). We must die to allow new life (Luke 24:36-39). We must let go of our own shape and form to let new, unexpected forms take shape (Isaiah 45:9). Is the church willing to break? Is the church ready to die? Is the church open to God reshaping and reforming it, even today?

I, personally, feel like a seed. Sometimes I wish I didn’t. But perhaps God wants me to be like a seed. I often feel, or have felt, broken, in all sorts of different ways. But I can see the ways in which my brokenness allows and shapes my growth. All sorts of parts of my life has died, but new life has grown in the cracks. I have been reshaped, and am continuing to be reshaped every day. Being moulded hurts. But it also enables the joy of transformation.

These are just some thoughts… Some places to look and listen. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you think? Paper, scissors, stone? Tree, heart, rock?

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