Jesus explains the Parable of the Sower pretty clearly. It is not my intention to disrupt his explanation or go against it. In fact, I think the question I have fits nicely into Christ's story and into His entire life overall.
The Sower Story tells of a farmer who spreads the seed of the Gospel. Because of the nature of different soils — rocky, shallow, thorny, good — the crop yielded different kinds of fruit. The poor soils see seeds eaten up, burnt or somehow destroyed, while the good soil sees the seed produce incredible crops. Pretty easy visual, right?
I'm in the same place as I am when I question: "What happened afterwards to the people who experienced Jesus' miracles?"
The most common answer I receive is: "Well since it's not in the Bible, there's no point in speculating."
While I don't want to add to Scripture, I do consistently feel the need to place Biblical teaching into context. Questioning what life was like, or seeing parables in different ways are included in that. In this case: "When Jesus taught the parable, did anyone suggest improving the poor soils, so that they could become good soil and produce a glorious crop?"
We focus so much on the rocks… the weeds… and the sun… that sometimes it seems we entirely miss the potential for changing some of these things, for taking responsibility for our environments and lives. It's true there will always be rocky ground, shallow ground, and thorny ground. But if thorns represent the worries of this life, what are we doing to undermine those worries? If shallow ground represents shallow teaching or foundation, what are we doing to strengthen weak roots? If rocky ground represent places where evil takes people away, what are we doing to remove the rocks?
I don't want to take attention of the good soil right in front of us, as it is fertile and ready for planting. But have we stared at it so hard, that we have totally forgotten that perhaps we can expand our good soil by toiling to remove rocks? Yank weeds? Add topsoil?
We can't control everything. There will be some people who run from Truth and Love. Yet… what more can we be doing to root those living in fear or condemnation into Love?