We recently studied two parables found in the first half of Mark 4. The first parable about the sower and four types of soil is very famous. The second is connected but much less popular: the parable of the growing seed. After studying these stories for a couple weeks, I asked the street youth to explain to me some examples of things from the street that relate to these parables. The youth I'm talking to? Almost all under 24, living and sleeping on the street or in tents in greenbelts, many abusing drugs and alcohol, and most having grown up churched at one point. Take a look at these powerful words I copied from the white board after class:
What makes a hard path for me when it comes to letting faith take hold in my life?
- Feeling stuck
- Trying and failing every time
- Drug addiction
- Legal barriers (ID, tickets, warrants, felonies)
What makes shallow ground for me so that my faith withers?
- Pushy Christians
- People (including myself) who believe "Once homeless--always worthless"
- Love of money
What makes a briar patch for me so that my faith cannot be shared with others?
- Peer pressure
- Being judged
What does the parable of the sower tell us about how to be "good ground" where faith grows and is shared?
- Find the right light to grow.
- Do our part.
- Let God do His part.
- Don't resist. If something makes you feel wrong, do something about it.
- Be present and respond to growing pains.
Do you see your some of your own responses in the list above?
"To know, love and serve street dependent youth."
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