While flying a little commuter jet to northern California, I had no way of knowing someone was reading over my shoulder. I quickly found my seat on the plane and buried my nose in a book.
“What are you reading?” A lady’s voice floated timidly over the top of the seat. I chatted with her a few moments about the Lord, wrote out the title on the back of my business card, wished her a pleasant trip and plunged back into my study.
Three weeks later she showed up at the church bookstore, titles in hand. Within a month she’d become a Christian.
In New Testament times, farmers didn’t sow in neat rows. Instead, they pitched handfuls of seed among the furrows, scattering it recklessly in the breeze. Some seeds flourished, some failed; it was the ground that made the difference.
Many times I’d talk with folks about the Lord at church, in a restaurant or on the tennis court. They’d nod with appreciation, but depart unchanged. Months later I’d find out it was seed carried by the wind of the Spirit, as it were, to an unnoticed bystander that bore the fruit.
The Parable of the Sower has taught me not to prejudge my audience. Instead, like the sower of old, I scatter my seed, letting it fall where it will. I never know who will be listening in or reading over my shoulder. I never know what small, seemingly insignificant seed will bear fruit to eternal life.