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A Persistent Bother

I’m dealing with insidious plant life in my yard. We have a new variety that has crept under the pool enclosure and fills in every available inch of soil. Plus the old regulars. This morning I took time to pull weeds from the backyard while the ground is saturated with recent rains. I’ve tried chemical spray (good for — months, ha!), yearly mulch, and regular pulling, to little avail. Weeds just keep returning. A never-ending process when one lives in a warm year-around climate. Yet I do find a certain satisfaction from yanking those pesky plants and viewing the short-term results. Therapy?

My small grandson begs to walk the yard and visit the flowers. Last week when I started to pull some weeds, I began instructing him on the difference between flowers and weeds. He would like to pull up both plants. After all, both have flowers and fruit. Unfortunately, it is easy to dislodge flowers when one starts attacking the pretender weeds that live among the desirable plants.

There seems to be a lot of “weedy” people in the world. Ones that I wish didn’t exist or could magically disappear. Self-absorbed, cruel, or those who seem to have no contribution in existence yet suck the resources and energy from others. More importantly, could we lose those dangerous or painful nettle/thistle-people that hurt when you get too close? Maybe even the ones that are like stick-tights and you can’t shake them no matter what you try to do?

On the up side, I wish I had the weed-kind of persistence, resilience, or genetic fortitude. Sometimes I’ve made mistakes when pulling weeds. Leaves and stems can appear to be very similar. My husband thinks the heart-shaped leaves of the invasive air-potato vine to be very pretty. Weeds can sometimes produce flowers, fragrance or become tamed into something useful. I am very fond of “Beauty Berries,” found wild along parks and roads with stems of close-packed berries that turn purple in the fall.

Weeds even exist among the people who claim to be God’s people. The weeds grow in our families, communities, churches and countries. Jesus talked a lot about his kingdom in Matthew 13. He said that in God’s kingdom, there is an “enemy” that has planted or sown weeds among the good plants. And when God’s workers get aggravated with weeds and want to remove them, Jesus said, “No.” Because it’s easy to dislodge the good plants when you pull up the weeds. “Let them both grow together until the harvest” (Matthew 13:30, NIV). Jesus will instruct the harvesters when it’s time. But I will continue to pull the weeds in my yard.

Questions for personal journaling or group discussion:

1. What motivation do you believe, drives us to want to “weed-out” people?

2. Is there a place for disciplinary action in God’s kingdom?

Karen Spruill writes from Orlando, Florida.

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About Karen Spruill

Karen Spruill

writes from Orlando, Florida.

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