I’ve been appreciating our fully blooming backyard all week. It’s intoxicating with sweet fragrances drifting from our wisteria-covered trellis. The vibrant colors of those purple blooms, pink cherry blossom trees, fuchsia azaleas, red, yellow, and plumb colored tulips create a panorama of delight. Yet, in the tulip bed, there they are…the dandelions and various accomplices. That’s right, weeds.
When I saw this, I thought to myself, “Why, that’s it! I’ve got my blog for next week. There ya have it, nature strikes again in my literary mind and outdoor loving soul.”
And it was perfect. Until I turned on the news.
Boston. It had another massacre.
West Texas. A fire at a fertilizer plant knocked a town off the map.
Boston again. A police officer at MIT was shot.
Boston yet again. Like a scene out of Die Hard, terrorists were throwing explosives in attempts to shake the good guys.
My Facebook feed. A good friend from college shared a prayer request for his dying brother-in-law’s healing from a wretched fight with cancer.
A drive in the night. I saw a girl on the side of the road who looked just like someone I’m very close to with a guy walking closely behind her to who knows where.
I thought I was going to write about how we all have beauty in our lives but often can’t see it for the weeds surrounding it. I guess in a way, I am. Only it’s so much more complex than I had first plotted out in my mind.
I thought I was going to talk about things like being present and putting up your electronics so you can really focus on what God’s trying to show you. But then I remembered that most of my African friends and quite frankly, a vast number of people representing the rest of this planet don’t have that issue going on. Even still, we all have a terrible batch of weeds trying to overshadow the beautiful flowers that are trying to bloom.
There’s so much evil happening in our world right now. It’s been right in front of our noses these past two weeks because it got personal. But it’s happening all the time. Sometimes it doesn’t even make it on the news.
People are still starving in Africa. People are still dying for their faith across the globe. Women are treated as subservient anathemas in various cultures. Babies are stripped of their right to live because of inconvenience. Children are forced into having their professions chosen for them in grade school. Women and children are being sold into slavery.
Things are bad. Real bad. There are so many weeds keeping us from seeing beauty.
Some call those weeds bad karma or ill will. But God calls it sin.
Once one weed of sin pops up, many more are sure to follow.
There’s only one way to solve the problem of the ugly deterrents to beauty…. get rid of them. I’m not saying to go smite the ones doing the evil. I’m saying…it’s an issue that goes back to the heart. I’m saying that in order to get rid of the weeds of sin, Jesus has to step in with his pruning tools and do some weeding. He’s got to get in there and pull out all the junk that is hiding the beauty of Himself that He wants to reveal in this world.
We all have it. Our hearts are fields for either a tree that bears good fruit or bad fruit. Unlike the plants, though, we have a choice as to whether we’re going to let the gardener pull our weeds or ask him to leave and let them take over.
“For the wages of sin is DEATH, but the gift of God is ETERNAL LIFE in Christ Jesus our Lord. “ Romans 6:23