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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Friday, July 15, 2011

Weeds

You know that old saying: you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl. Those of us still paying attention to the Lectionary this month have had a chance to consider gospel-writer Matthew’s take on some of Jesus’ more familiar “country” parables. We’ve thought about the sower and now we’re into weeding season! It follows inevitably, as any of you country folk know only too well. This week’s parable of the wheat and the tares sets this country girl to thinking about weeds!

I have a somewhat conflicted attitude about weeds. The dictionary defines a weed as a plant growing where you didn’t plant it and don’t want it. I love a nice natural grassy area with lots of volunteer buttercups and daisies; why I don’t even mind the dandelions all that much! A wildflower garden has just so much more appeal to me than a neatly manicured lawn.

When we moved to a new place a few years ago, we rejoiced at the lovely little yellow pear-shaped tomatoes that sprang up, unplanted, unknown and unexpected in our flower bed. Technically a weed, it returned faithfully in one place or another for the several years we lived there.

My generosity, however, does not extend to all such volunteers. I cannot abide a milkweed on my property. Butterflies, who love their blooms, must go elsewhere for their welcome. At this moment, in the front garden at my office—a garden tended conscientiously by someone else—there grows a lush and vibrant yellow blooming plant. It’s probably a meter tall, with brilliant green foliage and a dozen or more flowers waving lazily in the summer breezes. It’s driving me crazy. It is a sow-thistle!

I spent most of my childhood working in the fields with my siblings, my cousins, my dad and uncle, trying to eradicate these pesky weeds from our soybean, corn and tomato crops. It was a matter of pride how very “clean” our crops were.

Modern farm practice is given more to cleaning up of the harvested seed. You seldom see today’s farm workers out hoeing. As I ponder the parable of the tares, in which the farmer urges his workers to leave the weeds and the wheat to grow together and leave it to the angels to manage the differences in due time, I struggle. Jesus tries to help his disciples understand his meaning.

I think I may need to resist my urge to start pulling weeds out of my life. There are people who show up whose character and qualities I just don’t get—at least not yet. Jesus clearly indicates that the wheat and the tares are people. But he also says it isn’t up to me to declare anyone a weed and cast them out.

I know how easy it is to judge someone a weed. I may think I know best what to do about this milkweed or that sowthistle. But in God’s garden, it isn’t up to me to do the weeding. I have a different calling.

Posted by Marion

2 comments:

  1. WEEDS, Good food for thought.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know Betty! and I could have said so much more. Maybe another day we'll do Weeds2. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete