Pulling the Weeds

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Pulling the Weeds

We are gardeners. We love to see all summer long our vegetable plants grow and mature, and then produce farm fresh tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, cucumbers and all the rest. We work hard in our gardens, we pull those weeds and tend to our plants diligently. With the many tomatoes we harvest, we can many a salsa jar for Christmas gifts for family and friends each year.

Now, with so much of the country seeing such a drought, our water bills have increased steadily as the rain in our very own Midwest has been so scarce. Tonight as usual, after the heat of the day had past, I did my nightly ritual, yep, in that squatting position, pulling those darn weeds and mentally figuring if I might have to water these sad looking garden plants. Tonight, I focused on the patch of my garden I dedicated to onions.

Now, let me tell you about these onions. I have sowed them twice already, as the first batch were overtaken by weeds and lack of water. Persistent as I am, I planted them again, with new fever to ensure, indeed, these would make it. Tonight, as I felt my knees ache and my back reject me, I began to pull the many weeds that have taken over my budding new onions.

Weeds and budding onions don’t mix well. I should know. Each weed, each ferocious weed that takes over, grows faster than my onions, they take the limited water, and pretty soon, my onions won’t have a chance to survive. Painstaking is the process to eliminate weeds from an onion patch, as each onion must be replanted, if accidently pulled with the neighboring menace.

After pulling many an onion by mistake, I simply started to trim the tops of the weeds so the onions could find the sun, and went against my better judgment, and left the rest there. It took every ounce of my being, not to pull each and every weed, however, this passage, below, had new meaning, and gave new comfort upon rinsing my hands and giving my aching knees a break…..

The Parable of the Weeds among the Wheat

He proposed another parable to them.“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13 :24-30

Why, in some cases, is it better to leave those darn weeds? Uprooting many an onion sprout has me convinced, perhaps there is wisdom here in leaving the weeds and removing them when the onions get a bit bigger and can battle for themselves.

Now, knowing full well, that Jesus wasn’t telling this parable in order to save my sad little onions, I sat in the cool of the evening, sipping my ice tea, and contemplated this very profound Gospel passage….

There is evil in the world. I believe this. And I do believe the devil works to sow evil in any place that will allow it, in any place that it will get nourished. And the burning, the hell, Jesus describes will be for the evil that has been given a chance to thrive.

And here’s the kicker, something that I asked myself, this very night, how do I allow evil to be nourished in my own life? When I see it, how do I uproot it? Do I throw everything out, upon seeing evil, making rash decisions? Am I diligent and patient in my prayer life, sacramental life, even in the relaxed season that is Summer?

And it isn’t always easy to see evil in our daily lives as Moms. Perhaps it’s a sharp tongue when I’m tired, or an angry look when I’m frustrated. Perhaps evil enters my home, when I am not at my best, and it gets nourished by my own laziness, my own selfishness or pride.

It takes a sharpened will to skillfully remove these little evils in our lives, which can destroy the good fruit we work to produce. It’s making that great dinner with joy, not frustration that it wasn’t appreciated. It’s folding that last load of laundry even though no one cares if it sits until tomorrow. It’s keeping the peace and not bringing more battles into the home. And all this, takes practice, and with lots of practice it becomes habit, becomes a way of life, where good will always prevail, and evil gets choked out little by little.

But it’s up to us. It depends on us. Just as a cunning gardener must decide when to pull, when to have patience or when to water, so we too, must look for ways to nourish the good, fine tune the ways we live, with a fine, shearing tool, not the chain saw that I was tempted to pull out of the garage.

It really isn’t that difficult to see our Gospel passages in the everyday. It really doesn’t take that much, to see God is calling us. It only takes time to hear His whispers in the regular moments of the day. Perhaps my moment was pulling the weeds among my onions, learning a lesson about patience and persistence. Yours could be any moment that you give Him to work.  He wants to work through you, bringing great fruit to your everyday, your children, your husband.

So, take this moment, just a moment.  Think of a fruit of your life, and what weeds might be disrupting their growth.  And then take one more moment, and make one small resolution – to water your fruit, and pull one weed.

Copyright 2012 Sahmatwork

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