Clichés become clichés because they contain an element of truth. If you want to grow your own potato plants, for example, it would be unwise to plant only sunflower seeds. Yet, there is a limit to all clichés; for even if you just sow potatoes you will still find a preponderance of weeds in amongst your crop. This is just how soil, and the life within it, works.
Raymond Farrell, in his poem The Sower That Sows and the Reaper Who Reaps, reminds us that, no matter hard we try, “in the end, the yield will not be free of tares”. But, what if we tried to sow only tares (or weeds)? Might there be rogue wheat germs or sunflowers caught amongst it? Might there be a sapling of hope in a field full of despair?
When injustice is sown, it appears to be reaped only occasionally by the sower. Instead, it is those who are left in the sower’s wake that reap the pain of injustice. But it is into injustice that the heart of generosity steps, fostering a sense of selfless giving unknown by those who scatter injustice. Blessings are shared with and between those who break bread together…and the sowers of injustice rarely take their place at such a lavish table.
God of wheat and tares, sunshine and rain,
Speak generous truth into our cliched lives,
Lives which seek easy answers to painful questions:
good -v- bad
white -v- black
right -v- wrong;
Life, we know, is not that straightforward,
not that predictable,
We don’t always reap what we sow.
Open our ears to hear the voices of freedom
in a world of oppression,
Open our eyes to see shoots of hope
in places of despair,
Open our hearts to know love
in and through our experiences of fear,
Open our hands to share our gifts with those around us,
And may blessings be the fruit of our actions,
This and every day of our lives, AMEN.
8 Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of anger will fail.
9 Those who are generous are blessed,
for they share their bread with the poor.