Sunday, March 1, 2009


"It is not too late. God's world has incredible healing powers. Within a single generation, we could steer the earth toward our children's future. Let that generation start now, with God's help and blessing."

- Patriarch Bartholomew & Pope John Paul II, 2002 Joint Declaration on the Envrionment

While I struggle with the cold darkness of winter, there is one thing during this time that brings me great joy... starting seedlings for my garden. My seedlings have begun germinating, and one of my favorite things to do throughout the day is to dote upon them... watering them, looking at them, watching to see if any new seedlings will sprout. I never cease to be amazed by the process of nurturing the life that comes forth from a seed. At first glance, a seed seems so small and insignificant. Yet, within each seed lies the hope and promise of new life.

Even in the most unwelcoming of situations, life wants to grow. I have often marveled at the tiny plants that poke up out of the cracks in the sidewalk. Their persistant desire to reach toward the light is inspiring. Several years ago, while I was in the midst of a huge emotional struggle, a very dear friend of mine gave me some beautiful advice that I carry with me to this day. She said something to this nature, "If you think this time of darkness in your life is worthless and empty, think of the seeds that are planted into the darkness of the soil. They get rained on and trampled on and sometimes forgotten. Yet they eventually grow into something beautiful."

When thinking of the suffering and injustice in the world, it can be easy to fall into despair, to feel as though our efforts are tiny and insignificant. Too often, we either excuse ourselves from making different lifestyle choices by saying one person's choices won't make a difference to the world, or our sheer laziness prevents us from taking opportunities to make more compassionate choices. Yet, by God's grace, one person truly can make a difference.

Each small action we take to be kinder to God's creation is like a small seed of hope planted into the darkness of the world. And by being faithful in the small things, we can learn to be faithful in larger things. Besides, as Patriarch Bartholomew once said, “If we are not moved to compassion, bandaging the wounds of the earth, assuming personal care, and contributing to the painful costs, then we might easily be confronted with the question, which of these do you resemble: the Good Samaritan or the indifferent person?”


Unknown said...

nice post i love and like it

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this encouraging perspective, Stephanie. It was one I needed to read myself, having faced some discouragement related to my work with Not One Sparrow and otherwise.
By the way, I'm hoping to put together a post this afternoon featuring two of your own: "Slient Tears" and "Friends of Adam". I'll let you know when it's up, but feel free to check in anytime ... Ben

Stephanie said...

Hi, Ben,

I'm glad you were able to find some encouragement from this post. It is not always easy to walk the sometimes lonely road of working to alleviate the suffering of God's creatures. Please keep up your wonderful work!

Thanks again for the cross-post on your blog!