The Sower – channelling the parable

The sower

The narrative of the “The Parable of the Sower” draws our attention to the varying types of ground upon which the seed falls.

The type of ground prompts introspection: which parts of me are rocky, shallow, or overrun with thorns?

However, suddenly, I find myself at the centre of the narrative.

I recommend reading verses 1-9, as they shift the focus towards the Sower, a figure I find particularly compelling.

The Sower also fascinated the Dutch Post-Impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh (1853 – 1890).

Throughout Van Gogh’s career, he created over 30 artworks centred on this theme, and one that stands out for me is “The Sower at Sunset.”

Van Gogh completed this painting in 1888 during his stay in Arles, Provence. This was a period marked by his intense and tumultuous friendship with French artist Paul Gauguin, which unfolded in the Yellow House, a setting that also features in Van Gogh’s paintings.

“The Sower at Sunset” depicts a figure in a field, scattering seeds.

The action of sowing strikes me as “indiscriminate.”

I envision the rhythmic motion of the hand and arm, moving from the seed bag to the ground, scattering seeds with a sense of freedom and abandonment.

What a contrast, the ripe corn behind the Sower and the Sower who sows the cultivated land with a broad arm gesture.

The Sower does not walk among the fertility of what has been sown and grown.

Instead, he treads upon the cultivated soil, the realm of potentiality.

The Sower and the ploughed land share the same colour.

This leaves me with a question for reflection.

Where might I find my God more?

Is my God in the anticipation of what is to come, represented by the ploughed field, or in the fruition of what has been symbolised by the fertile field of corn?

  • Gerard Whiteford SM is a retreat facilitator and spiritual companion for 35 years.
Additional reading

News category: Analysis and Comment, Great reads.

Tags: , , , , , ,