The Sower and the Reaper
One day, as the reaper went about his daily business of reaping what someone else had sown, he saw a man off in the far distance. Hoping against hope that today might be that long awaited special day, he said a silent prayer and took off running in the man’s direction, dropping his sickle as he went. He never noticed that the plants were getting smaller and less mature along the way. He was too caught up in the moment and the hope that he had that today would be the day that he had waited for all his life.
After what seemed like an eternity, the reaper finally reached the man and as he caught his breath he saw for the first time what the other man had been doing all this time. He would reach into a large sack at his side and pull out what appeared to be seeds and then he would scatter them all around. He did this over and over.
“Oh thank you God,” the reaper said out loud and at this the seed scattering man stopped his seed scattering and noticed the reaper for the first time.
“Hello, are you the sower?” The reaper asked slowly, deliberately.
“Yes and it has taken you long enough, hasn’t it? I’ve expected you for a long while now,” said the sower. “What took you so long?”
“I just now saw you for the first time. How could I have gotten here quicker?”
“You’ve always had the faith and the vision, but you have lacked the trust that God requires. Even now a question burns in your soul. Ask it and be done.”
“Very well since you insist, I will. Why sower, why do you plant here and there and not everywhere equally? Why is there a patch of fruit here and there, but not everywhere? Why can’t we sow and harvest equally all over?”
“You saw me just now, but yet your eyes tell you nothing. I have always tossed the seeds far and wide. Just as much here as there. I have sown along the path and on rocky ground and among thorns and on good soil too. What you have not seen is that those along the path are often trampled on and eaten by birds and that those seeds that fell on rocky soil had no root and soon withered away and that the seeds that were tossed amongst the thorns were soon choked out by the brambles. All that you have seen is the crop that is left from the good soil.”
“Well then,” began the reaper, “why shouldn’t all soil be made equally? Wouldn’t that be more fair?”
“And then you would make yourself God, for that is what you are saying. You know how to make everything equal and fair and right and God doesn’t. Isn’t that what you are saying?”
“No, I mean, why is it like this?” The reaper pleaded now trying to understand.
“God has a reason for everything. There are reasons for every orphan, every addict, every victim, every crime and every suicide. Perhaps the reason that bad things happen is so that good things have a meaning, but only God knows and only God can know. It isn’t simply beyond our understanding, if we somehow could know, it would damage creation by taking away from the glory that belongs only to God. And God forbid that that should ever happen.”
“Now come on,” continues the sower in a more somber tone, “we have work to do.
This spiritual short story written by Chris Benjamin who was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee and while he has traveled extensively in the United States and abroad, he always ends up in the south where his roots are. An engineer for all his life, he one day found himself downsized and out of work. Somewhere in that financial and emotional crisis God found him and showed him that his calling was to write and he did begin to write.
His writing style or ‘voice’ as some call it hearkens to the southern United States and its culture and more than anything else to the people found there. An avid observer of people wherever he has gone, Benjamin seems to relish the discovery of the little personal quirks that we all have. In fact his views on God and the world as it is, compels the reader to feel a little more human and a little more secure in their own way.
Combining his literary voice with his technical expertise in the engineering realm provides a nice twist to all his stories, which keeps the reader guessing and of course, turning the pages.