A young friend recently posted a poem on her Facebook page entitled, “The Audacity of a Weed.” The gist of the poem is that the weed is told, “No! You don’t fit into my dream for my garden, and yet, day after day, you persist!” That has been the real experience of my gardening this spring and summer. The beautiful spring weather coupled with a little extra time and creative space inspired me to stretch my limited capabilities and expand and enjoy my yard. But then came the weeds. And I hate them. I hate their appearance. I hate the aches and pains left in my body after a serious weeding session. I hate that within days, they are back, scoffing at me for being so silly in my futile attempts to be rid of them.
Weeds are like sin. They are the imperfections and the persistent habits and behaviors in my life that no matter how hard I try, I can’t be entirely rid of them. They keep coming back. Like the house swept clean of demons that Jesus spoke of, seven more demons return to just move right back in to the clean house, with more strength and persistence than ever before.
Jesus also told another parable. In Luke 13:24-25 he begins, “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.” He goes on to describe how when the wheat sprouted, the weeds also appeared. The servants, wondering where the weeds came from, offered to pull them up. But the owner said, “No, because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest.”
There is a tension between good and evil that Jesus is illustrating for us here. God allows both good and bad to grow in the same field, and at the end of time, God will decide what is wheat and what is a weed. We, too, are part wheat and part weed. We work and work to rid ourselves of the weeds in our lives, only to have them come right back. But, let the weeds grow up with the wheat. Stop striving for perfection and love yourself by accepting your warts and shortcomings. I am not saying to ignore the sin in your life and give into your sinful urges, but begin to recognize them and acknowledge them, knowing you are powerless in your own strength to be rid of them. Perfection is illusory and usually indicates our blindness to our own faults. Instead, an attitude of compassion and forgiveness toward yourself and your faults will begin to increase your self-awareness. Self-awareness is essential to our God-awareness.
By learning to accept our weeds with our wheat, we grow in compassion and love for ourselves. We then have a much easier time offering the same love and compassion for our neighbors, and perhaps even our enemies. Ultimately, it will translate into a new capacity to accept the overwhelmingly compassionate and unconditional love of our Heavenly Father! Be overwhelmed by God’s love for you today. Be overwhelmed by his unconditional love regularly. It will change your life and transform you into his likeness, naturally replacing the weeds that appear with wheat and a good harvest!