Sara Keith

This week I want to share with you some words from a friend of mine.  As the months have drug by, I know that many of us have come to feel a little broken. She reminds us that nothing grows without something being broken first. Though she is not “from around here,” her experience with life and the land resonates with all who have ever held a seed in their hand or the seed of a hope or a dream in their heart. She reminds us that we all stand on common ground, wherever we may be from and she reminds us that beauty can grow from our brokenness.

Brokeness can make Abundance

By: Sara Keith

As a Midwestern girl, I grew up my whole life around small farm towns. Many of my closest friends and their families were farmers. Heck, I even worked on three dairy farms. And being in the country, with its expansive skies and rolling fields, I have learned a thing or two about story telling. Meaning, within the art of the mundane, is a piece of The Bigger Picture.

So, I’m going to talk about seeds.

Farming communities are built around crops. From the soil testing and rock picking, to the large granary elevators at the co-op that the town is built around, seeds play an unspeakably important role in agriculture. They feeds the livestock. They are sold on a global market, and they fill the silos at harvest time. Year after year. And yet...standing alone by itself, a single seed seems insignificant. You couldn’t pick out a single grain on a sidewalk, and even if you did- it would get walked over, kicked aside, or even eaten by a bird. Seeds don’t appear very important standing alone. Especially when you think of the role they play. They are destined to be broken. How can this be beautiful? How can this be good? But that is where the miracle lies.

A single seed can do nothing without breaking. If it sits alone, there it stays- nothing happens. Even if it sits collectively in a gunny sack or inside a towering silo, nothing comes of it, even though the seed is preserved and “safe”. Nothing amazing comes from safety.

But, the moment that seed slips beneath the soil, the beginning of something starts. It is buried, it is watered, and it breaks open. It seems as if the seed is done for. But that is where the miracle of life starts. That single seed turns into a LIVING plant- with thousands of other seeds!! People are fed by crushing the seed to extract its nutrients. Millions of other seeds come into existence from the yearly burial of the sowed seeds. Broken doesn’t mean bad.

Broken means beautiful.

When I was in high school, going through a dark season in my life, I was taking out the scraps from the kitchen to our compost pile by my mother’s beautiful garden. There was a squished tomato that got dumped in the pile. You could see the many seeds shining in the jelly-like goo that squished out of it. I kind of connected with that retched tomato for a slight moment- nothing inherently wrong with it, just spent and tossed out. Bruised. A few days later I came back to throw out the kitchen scraps and I noticed in the mid afternoon warm, little sprouts coming out of that forsaken tomato. Life. I smiled, and closed my eyes. Okay God, I get it. Broken is just the threshold of Beautiful. It is the gateway to life. The ordinary and the throw-away, perhaps we should be the most hopeful of all because if we choose to surrender our brokenness to the dying world around us- Life will spring fourth.

Don’t be ashamed of your scars. And for goodness sakes, don’t let anyone put you down because of your past. Especially yourself. You are more. 

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