Today was a great day for pulling weeds in my garden.
My husband let me get the task done while he watched our boys. I needed to get my frustrated self outside – I tied up my blonde hair into a bun, and slapped on some sunscreen & a straw cowboy hat. I needed to get back into nature, work with the dirt and weeds in my own heart, and face my own demons.
My son and I tried to start a beautiful garden at our house last Spring – it was the first Spring I wasn’t working and he was old enough to actually help with pulling the weeds. It took days for us to clear out a large plot of dirt – pulling weeds that had been in the garden plot for possibly a few years (we’d just moved in the year before). When we were almost done, our cats decided to use the garden as a giant kitty litter box. Being pregnant, I didn’t want to chance toxoplasmosis, and had to reluctantly give up on transforming the patch of dirt into a beautiful garden.
This year we’ve been looking forward to getting the garden going for months now! Excited and joyful to be able to work in the dirt and grow plants again – such simple pleasures I remember from growing up in the country that city people don’t usually do much of.
I looked at the plot, the weeds were graciously cut back by my husband from a week earlier in order to ease my getting them up, but they still needed to be pulled out by the roots. I’d done a trick I learned from my mother, of smothering the really thick weeds with trash bags held down by heavy rocks, so that the plants smothered and baked in the sun & heat. It worked! Most of the weeds were easy because of this trick, however, many were still thick and stubborn as a hot-headed donkey refusing to go where he doesn’t want to be.
As I felt myself grumble, frustrated with how difficult the task was, and how some of them were just so hard to pull out I had to take breaks from pulling them; I felt a tug in my heart…. You’re not so different.
What?!? What the heck, God, I was right… I was attacked, what do you mean that I’m like these weeds?!
You’re stubborn and difficult, my daughter. You’ve let roots of anger and pride grow in your heart.
What? I thought as I ripped out another weed – the satisfaction that came from feeling the really thick weeds suddenly come loose was something akin to relief. Their tendrils held on so tightly, feeling them let go – breaking free of those strongholds tying them down – was a wonderful feeling of a small accomplishment. Like I was literally freeing the soil from their ugly intrusion.
God, I did the right thing. I tried to seek peace. How come they get to get off the hook so easily, huh? Why are they just getting away with a brutal attack and evil intentions?
You’re asking the wrong question, my daughter.
I am not here to tell you the details of another’s story, but to reveal to you your own.
So You’re saying I shouldn’t be concerned if they ever get called out or admit they’re wrong?
Sweating in the heat, dirt melting on my gloves and into my skin, I continued to work with the stubborn weeds.
Weeds were easy when the roots didn’t have time to go deep… but when they did, pulling them out took great effort and pain. It was obvious I’d waited too long to pull these weeds. Just like these weeds, if we let a root take hold in the fertile soil of our heart and flourish there as we nurture it with anger, envy, or bitterness, it can be difficult to pull later on as it grows and becomes more incorporated into our character.
A few weeds were just too difficult for me alone – I would have to ask my husband to pull them out for me later… isn’t that symbolic? His spiritual leadership is a blessing to me, his strength a deep refuge I can safely fall back on.
God is called the perfect Gardner in the Bible… one who nurtures us and prunes us so that we will eventually grow in beauty and bear good fruit.
You are perfect God, I trust You with all my heart to help me with my sins, especially the ones that are too strong for me to pull on my own.
I worked for awhile longer while the clouds started to gather overhead, when my husband came outside to play with our boys. He looked over at me and said with a sexy smirk, “You look good in that hat.”
Hmph… I said as I smiled and tore some more weeds from the ground. He laughed and told me I’d have to stop soon; it was going to rain.
“That’s great! It will soak the ground so that it will be easier to finish off tomorrow.”
The plot was about cleared, it felt so great to look down and see almost all of the weeds gone!
Peace had come from doing the work of pulling those weeds.
The soil was almost ready for new things to be planted, the bitter roots were torn out and cast away.