The cottonwood trees seem to be really prolific this spring. The air is full of little fluffs of white each carrying a tiny seed and floating through the air on the slightest breeze. I remember my neighbor from the first house we ever owned who constantly bemoaned the the fact that we wouldn't cut down two very large cottonwood trees in our yard because every spring, she had to brush and vacuum the white fuzz from the screens in her windows.
The trees were tall and straight and provided shade for the house as well as rustling with the slightest breeze as the leaves twisted and turned. It always made me feel cooler on a hot day to think there at least was a breeze. The trees also reminded me of a huge cottonwood in front of the house my parents owned by the lake. It still stands today, despite the fact that my parents were told that it was a tree that only lasted a few years and would probably fall over in a good storm.
This week as we did our morning walks the little fluffs of white floated past us, lingered a bit on the grass, floated up again on the wind currents and off to who knows where. When they finally stop, there's a good chance that they will germinate if the ground is good and they have opportunity to take root. And while it may not be as stately or said to be as strong as an oak, a cottonwood as sturdy and enduring as the one by the lake just may be the result.
Is it any wonder Jesus would use the story of the farmer sowing seeds (Matthew 13) to illustrate how his word could take root
in someone's life when that person's heart has been prepared and ready to receive? One seed may grow a strong sturdy cottonwood but it will produce much more. God's word in one heart can produce so much more when it is sown in others' lives.