Common Place

“And he said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground.’” Mark 4:26

The Lord speaks our simple language. Being the perfect Teacher, he reveals his truths in ordinary terms and translates his divine point of view in pictures we can follow. Naturally, his ways are much higher than ours, his thoughts a million miles beyond us. And yet he often communicates in terms that our minds can grab onto like handles that allow us to manage a hefty package.

A cardinal wearing its crimson colored coat draws attention to the wonder of God’s creative genius. This miniature flash of red darting between brilliant leaves while bits and pieces of blue sky peek through the fingered branches becomes another impressive advertisement of God’s flair for extravagant beauty. The Creator who lavished us with the sense of sight also grants us views that captivate and outperform. The cardinal catches our eye and we look up. At once Scripture intersects with an everyday walk in the park: “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26) We are left with the impression that our value, then, is high indeed.

He calls himself the Sower and refers to his Word as seed, and allows every farmhand with backbreaking duties in obscure fields to understand the concept of his Word bearing fruit in their lives. He is the good Shepherd looking for lost lambs, and each remote villager can cloak themselves with his terms of endearment. He breaks into our world like the prodigal’s father racing toward his wayward son. College boys in dormitories far away from home, and heart-broken mothers searching city squares knows that he gets their dialect with eloquence and ease.

Lamps under baskets, fish overflowing from bulging nets, tiny mustard seeds spreading like wildfire. The Lord speaks the language of all people, connecting his heart to ours one ordinary phrase at a time.

Elizabeth A Mitchell

Photo Credit: Paul Westel

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