It seems like some sort of rite of passage. As each of our girls has entered the realm of “formal” homeschooling around the age of 4 or 5, a Springtime ritual has been to experiment with sprouting beans. Seeing as we have been talking about having a veggie garden this year, after a five year hiatus, Luna was especially excited to learn about seeds.
A few weeks ago, I had her pick out 5 different beans from a bag of Goya bean soup mix. (Sure, we could go to the store and buy packets of seeds, but this is the way we’ve always done it! We almost always have dried beans in the cupboard.)
We talked about the conditions that a seed needs in order to germinate. Luna was surprised that the word germinate doesn’t mean “to get sick” like she originally thought. We discussed how the seeds were just filled with potential, but they would need warmth and water and we would need patience.
Every morning, Luna would check her little seeds for any signs of change. Finally, after about 5 days, which is as good as a month if you’re a four year old, she woke to find radicles poking out of three of her beans. Radical! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist…)
After a day of tending to and observing the three little rooted beans, we filled a pot with dirt. Each baby was tucked in gently with a nice covering of soil and then Luna watered them.
Again came time for patience. Every morning, Luna would come down and check on her pot to see if she could see anything happening. We discussed what might be happening under the soil. Each day, we also checked the other two beans that hadn’t started a root. In the end, both turned to stinky mush and we talked about how sometimes, seeds just don’t sprout.
Days went by and Luna kept peering hopefully into her pot and watering when the dirt looked dry.
Yesterday, all of that waiting paid off. Luna found this poking up through the top of the soil.
This new development called for magnifying glasses and lots of inspection. I loved watching Luna, in a state of awe, point out that her little bean had grown a leaf. She suspected that, at any moment, the plant would spring up out of the soil with an audible “boing”. We checked back several times yesterday, but it didn’t boing.
Today, even more excitement. What looked like the above picture at bedtime last night looked like this this morning.
Throughout this experiment, Luna has been filling out a neat Sprouting Bean book from Enchanted Learning. She’s colored pictures of each of the steps and has written sentences to go along with them. She can’t wait to see how her bean plant will grow and is filled with anticipation to see if the three other beans she planted will poke up from the soil and boing themselves upright.
In many ways, this reminds me of the way we can sow seeds when we share Compassion International with others.
Perhaps you will plant seeds by speaking for a Compassion Sunday event or by becoming a Compassion Advocate. Maybe you’ll tell a friend or family member about Compassion. You might post a Facebook status update about how important your sponsored child is to you. Maybe you will publish a blog post or hand Compassion brochures on local bulletin boards.
You can plant seeds in so many different ways.
Of course, these seeds will need the right conditions or they may not sprout. The seeds need to be planted in a fertile heart and carefully covered in prayer. They’ll need to be quenched with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and bathed in the warmth of rays of Sonshine.
Then, as you’ve done your job, the next part involves patience and letting God tend the cultivation. After all, the harvest is His.
Hopefully, many of the seeds will grow into strong and sturdy relationships with sound roots. In time, those hardy seedlings will bear Fruit of friendship and faith.
Will you reach out and plant some seeds? If you are thinking of holding a Compassion Sunday or becoming a Compassion advocate, please let me know so that I can pray for you. Do you have other ideas to share for ways that you sow seeds for Compassion International? Let us know!