I have allergies, I don’t like to get dirty, and I don’t particularly care for the heat. Those are just three of the many reasons why I don’t do much yard work. I love the saturated colors of the flowers gently swaying in the breeze, and the rich perfume that saturates the air, and thick, smooth green grass. I always notice beautiful landscaping elsewhere, but it takes a lot for me to do something about my own yard.
Two of my good friends, knowing this about me, decided to clean up and plant my front flowerbed for my birthday. Unusual purple flowers, cheerful yellow mums, no weeds, and a pretty, multi-colored stone now greet me when I come home. While they were working, I asked about a particular plant that grew straight up out of the ground cover. It was tall and ungainly but had a pretty flower. Was it a weed? Yes, I was told. Anything that grows where you don’t want it, no matter how pretty, is still a weed. It’s not about the plant itself; it’s about whether it belongs where it is.
I’ve been conversing lately with someone who hurt me many years ago. I didn’t realize how much anger and bitterness I harbored in my heart until confronted with it. I realized I needed to let it go, and since I did I’ve been overwhelmed by the feelings of healing and wholeness that replaced the ugliness. Until I found peace, I hadn’t been aware of its absence.
Turns out, although my hatred was there all along, I had mistaken it for something it wasn’t. I’d tried to convince myself that, though it wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t exactly offensive, so it didn’t have to go. I thought that I was doing the right things, acting as a Christian should: loving my friends and family, accepting myself, and being aware of my shortcomings. What I didn’t realize was that among the colorful blessings in my life, sown in the midst of the daylilies and irises and roses, was a big old honkin’ weed. Somehow, gently and quickly, God has pulled the hatred out of my heart, removed that bitter root and replanted. Now that ugly weed is no longer choking out the things that are supposed to grow there. All of the sunlight and nourishment I am given will be used to cultivate something beautiful.
I can’t wait to see my garden when it’s full-grown.