What will happen to Møn?

3. juni 2021

As I was driving through the countryside of Møn last weekend, one parable kept coming back to me.

Looking out over all the yellow fields in bloom reminded me of the parable of the sower, about a farmer who sows his grain across his land, not caring where it falls, letting it fall on rocky soil, paths, shallow soil and good alike. 

I was reminded especially about the end of that story and how for years I had misunderstood it.  See the amazing thing about that parable is not that the farmer is careless with his grain, or daring to let it fall any place in the hopes of a harvest.  That was completely normal at the time, that was the way farming was done in that area of Israel.  The crazy part happens at the end of the story as Jesus is telling what happens to the grain that has been sown.

Some grain is eaten by birds, some can’t take root because the soil is not good enough, some grain doesn’t grow correctly because of weeds and the last bit of grain yields a harvest that is “one hundred times more than was sown.”  See that is not possible.  That is not how things work. 

If you sow a grain of wheat, you hope to get one stalk of wheat, you do not hope for one hundred stalks of wheat, but that is what Jesus says will happen.  

Then he likens it to faith, saying those who believe will reap a harvest much much greater than was sown.

A simple woman

I was thinking about this parable as I drove through Møn on the way to the funeral of Åse, my wonderful wife’s grandmother who had passed away at ninety-four years old. She was happily married for almost seventy years to Knud who had passed away almost exactly one year before her.

She had been a daycare worker for some years and had been heavily involved in the Girls Scouts, as well as her local Mission House.  She had raised three children, enjoyed time with nine grandchildren and played with twelve great-grandchildren. 

She had lived a long and relatively simple life on a small island in a small country.  She had never been a missionary, preacher, teacher, or any of the other professions that we think of as warriors of the faith.  She was a simple woman who loved her husband, her children and her Jesus well.

I don’t know what I was expecting from the funeral.  It was a celebration of her life, a room filled with people grateful to have known her and for the person that she had been to them.  I was expecting cute stories and a few tears.  I was not expecting the size of the footprint that she and Knud had left on Møn.  

They had simply been faithful to Jesus, that is all.  A Christian life lived well in hard work and kindness, mostly behind the scenes, mostly in silence, and yet the effect their life, her life has had here in Denmark is immense.  The way God has used her and worked through her simple faith is staggering to me.

Little lift - great impression

Around the tables filled with full glasses and empty plates, sharing stories of Åse and Knud sit missionaries, Indre Missionær, Ungdomskonsulenter, musicians, doctors, a pastor, songwriters and worship leaders.  People who have told of Jesus in many, many different countries on multiple continents and in multiple languages.  

All in some way inspired by or affected by the faith of this lovely woman and her loving husband.  I am not saying she was perfect, I am saying Jesus took her simple faith and used it and I am sure he smiled to watch it grow to a harvest of at least “one hundred times what was sown.” 

Now as I sit in my office and reflect on this last weekend, one sentence still sticks with me.  One of the mourners, while telling about what Åse and Knud had meant to her and to her family and children ended her speech with a line that was both sad and hopeful “Now that they are gone, what will happen to Møn?” 

Somehow this little life left an impression so great that someone could fear for an entire islands wellbeing at their passing.  A life lived with Jesus seems to leave a massive impression, sounds a lot like his footsteps if you ask me.  It makes me want to follow him closely, live honorably, and see what he will do with this little life I give him.