When Sarah was a little girl, she loved to dance and twirl barefooted across the soft green grass of her childhood home and feel the soft blades in between her toes. One day she noticed a small solitary yellow dandelion growing up amidst all the green and thought, “How beautiful!”
And she danced and twirled away thinking no more of it. When she returned sometime later, the dandelion had multiplied and spread across the entire lawn until the soft, green grass was completely overrun by the invasive weed. She was sad.
When Sarah was much older, she discovered a small lump on her skin but thought, “It’s probably nothing.” And went on her way and thought no more of it.
When she visited the doctor some time later she discovered it was cancer and had now spread throughout her entire body and it was too late to stop the invasive disease. She was very sad.
In her final moments as she lie there in the hospital bed, she reflected back on her days of innocent youth, dancing and twirling across that pure green grass, and she remembered that little yellow flower and its ruinous effect, and now the devastation of the cancer that had choked the life out of her body.
She gathered the strength to look up at the visiting pastor and mouth these final words, “Is there not some force for good in this world able to spread life and healing as aggressively and effectively as dandelions and cancer spread corruption and death?”
The pastor clasped the frail women’s hands and with tenderness in his voice and love in his eyes, he said: “Dear daughter, such is the kingdom of God.”
This story is a modernized version of a parable Jesus once told. It is found in Luke 13:18-21:
18 Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.” 20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
Jesus is teaching us that the Kingdom of God, though inconspicuous and hardly noticeable to many at first, is God’s activity set in motion on earth to spread healing and restoration to God’s groaning creation.