Thursday, May 29, 2008

Weeds Among the Wheat

"Then the weeds appeared as well." Matthew 13:26

My husband and I spent part of Sunday afternoon turning over a garden for my mother. She is very clear that, at 85, she still wants to do the planting herself, but she needs help with the garden preparation. It was a warm, pleasant afternoon and we took turns digging up the accumulated weeds and raking the soil clean. I was amazed at the amount of spores, seeds, vines and other methods that weeds have to get in the midst of a well cared for garden. They were out there, well ahead of everything, staking their territory by any means possible. Weeds are the hardiest plants in the kingdom.

After Sunday, it makes even more sense to me that Jesus told the story about the weeds among the wheat. An enemy plants the weeds and they thrive, and the caretakers want to rip all the weeds out. But there are tender, food bearing plants that would be destroyed, if the weeds were attacked at the wrong time. Growth and possibility would be broken and stunted forever. In the best of lives, with the best intentions, bad stuff happens and takes root next to all the good, threatening to overshadow the good. But in our haste to right wrongs, we can do permanent damage and destroy that which can feed a throng.

So God's world is concerned at all times with the weakest among us who have the capacity to grow into gifts for the world. We can, in our urgency to clear the problems, destroy the best part of our communities and lives. God lives in the gray areas, asking us to give it time and to trust the Creator to complete creation. We always want to fix what we can't see in completion. God, who sees each of us completely, knows the timing of our growing and our yield.

For today, I want to be patient and gentle with myself and others, resisting the urge to rip out the weeds in my life. I want to practice tenderness and watchfulness today, as there is so much to learn from the created world. Growth happens, despite my own restrictions and the weeds that are attempting to choke me. Today, I want to trust God to care for me, as a gentle farmer, knowing that the fruitfulness and yield will come in God's time.

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