Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why I love weeds (no, not that kind!)

One of the things I love most about living in a rural area is the variety of plants and animals that I get to see every day. For example, there is the grass.

The grass is everywhere. And out beyond the walls that mark where our yard begins, the grass is about three feet high. I only mow the grass in the yard around the house because, well frankly, mowing 16 acres of grass that’s three feet high would be exhausting, and futile. Plus, if I mowed all of that grass, I’d miss out on all of the wildflowers that have been blooming for the past month!

I have learned that if I’m going to take a walk out along the prayer paths at The Oasis Renewal Center, I had better not bring my camera, because if I do, my “walk” won’t be more than about 15 feet, and I will spend the next two hours taking pictures of weeds. I mean, wildflowers.

Most of the flowers around here probably are classified as weeds. Some are tiny, they grow in and amongst the grasses, and they have weird names like Pignut,  Henbit Deadnettle, and Graham’s Nipple Cactus (not to be confused with Macdougal’s Nipple Cactus!) Many of these plants are considered to be a nuisance to farmers, ranchers and serious landscape architects. But if you look closely, they have the most beautiful flowers!

I believe humanity is the same. People are not weeds. Yes, some of us are a nuisance, and some are toxic and downright deadly. But everyone has some sort of beauty in them. You may have to look very closely; their ‘flower’ may be extremely tiny and well-hidden!

Does that mean that I think all people are good? No, I don’t. Read the latest headline news – that alone proves that they aren’t. In fact, most days I shake my head and think the majority of people suck. However, I do believe that human beings are created in God’s image. That means that we aren’t weeds – we all have a spark of the Divine in us. It may be very tiny and well-hidden, but it’s there.

You see, people aren’t entirely bad, or entirely good. We all have both aspects inside us at all times, and we are capable of displaying either one at any given moment. The trick is to express our best aspects most often. Just like the weeds displaying their gorgeous flowers.

“Consider how the lilies grow… not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these! If that is how God clothes the grass of the field….He will take care of you!...Seek God’s kingdom and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Luke 12: 27-28, 31)

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