The Dark Night of Seeds

seedsOne of Jesus’ parables about the Kingdom of God depicts us as various types of soil into which the sower plants seeds. I found myself imagining that I was the seed instead. It led to a fruitful contemplation about heaven.

I see myself planted deep in the earth, with its darkness and grime. I cannot see heaven above, but I know in faith that it is there, somewhere.

I wait.

God’s living water cracks the difficult, tough outer shell I so carefully hold and which prevents me from growing. What is happening to me? I don’t like it. I’d rather control what occurs next. I’m comfortable, in a way, with the slimy gloom around me. Real life can feel dark.

How are my life’s circumstances nurturing that something which softens my hard shell?I notice a crack in my hull. The embryo of love sends out a small root. I stay in the soil, waiting to be shown what will come next. God, I bring my desires, these emotions, to you. Please help me to grow toward light.As the root emerges, I wonder. I know I’m being transformed, but how? My existence is still surrounded by worms and questions about what comes next.

I reach for the living water as it is given to me. From where does this help come?

I’ve been in this earth for some time now, and from the top of my being somewhere, a new spot of life emerges, reaching upward. What is up there? What will heaven be like?

As I think about where I live now, I know that life above ground is full of incredible variety in plant and animal life. In California, giant redwood trees cause me to gasp when I walk in their fern-blanketed forests. I imagine that heaven will be as different from my current existence as a tiny mustard seed is different from the majestic, sun-bathed forests.

I just can’t even imagine heaven, where an infinite Trinity exists, and where saints gone before me laugh with love at the limited vision I have, mere seed that I am. I have no idea how wonderful it will be.

How radically different will heaven be from anything I imagine, as a buried seed is from the world above the ground?

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Loretta Pehanich is a Catholic freelance writer and the author of 2022: A Book of Grace-Filled Days, Women in Conversation: Stand Up!, and Fleeting Moments: Praying When You Are Too Busy. A spiritual director since 2012, Loretta is trained in giving the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Her involvement in ministry and parish life includes 20 years in small faith-sharing groups and Christian Life Community. Loretta gives retreats and presentations on prayer and women’s spirituality and is commissioned as an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist. She and her husband Steve have four children and 10 grandchildren.


  1. Dear Loretta,
    Just to let you know that the seeds I have planted are now blooming. They are called BLUE TERNATE or ASIAN PIGEON WING. I pray that the joy they give me reach your heart.
    Search online and enjoy the loveliness.

  2. My dark night seems unending and wonders we’re it is leading me to but this article has lifted my spirit.
    I will always turn to the light as I await God to send me help.

  3. Loretta, I can visualize myself as that seed opening up to heaven, today. I see Him walking with me to our Board meeting. Surprise me, Lord with your wisdom. Help me tune in to you. Or if you prefer, let me stay silent and feel you at work. Surprise me Lord today ith your presence, before , during and after this Board meeting.I’m just a small tiny seed in your hands.

    • Yes, this I believe deeply! Be still and turn to the East, where the Light will dawn again.
      Yhe LIGHT of Christ is always there whether it is seen or not, experienced as warmth or thourougly hidden from sight. As a watcher waits for the dawn so does my soul wait for the Lord. From a Psalm

  4. Dear Loretta,
    It is evening time mow in our part of the world and I am on, my last action before bedtime.
    On our azotea I have some pots with newly planted flowering seeds. Some have already sprouted. Your very lovely article will be in my heart as I visit them tomorrow morning. Please God, I hope to speak to Him in their name, too, just like your meditations. And I intend to continue speaking as they grow bigger and start flowering.
    Thank you very, very much. May your life be surrounded always with beautiful flowers.

    • I am blessed by your reply, Letty. I am grateful to our global community for connections in ways I never imagined when I began blogging here three years ago.

      • Thank you for reacting to my email, Loretta. Because of this I went back to your many past articles and read them again more intently and more prayerfully. You are a blessing to many.
        I hope that I can read you on the topic of dementia because I am dealing with people from 98 down to the late seventies. It can be difficult sometimes to remain patient.
        Thank you and God bless.


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