“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. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.’” ~ Matthew 13:24-26
About two weeks ago, I attended the annual retreat for spiritual directors. The topic was Soul Gardening, so we meditated on the soul plants we had been given as gifts from God and weeds in our garden which might need to be eliminated. I thought about weeds. What if the weeds in my soul are gifts, too and not something to pulled up or sprayed dead? Maybe, we should listen to them before we decide.
I love happy yellow dandelions. About the first plant to bloom in the spring, dandelions are the first food available to bees. Children make bouquets from them for their mothers and bracelets, necklaces and crowns for fun. When dandelions go to seed and we blow on them, fluffy seedlings float into the sky to spread the joy. When young, the leaves can be good for eating, and dandelion blooms make fairly good wine. I read that if we kill all the dandelions, the population of bees will be greatly reduced which would be disastrous for our food supply. In spite of this, most often, we get rid of them. We don’t want them were they are, because they are weeds…. Or are they?
Perhaps, the weeds are in my soul, along with spirit gifts, to give me something or teach me something—for my benefit and the benefit of others. If I sit with my dandelions and listen to them, what might they tell me? I’ll share one story. I have listened long to it.
I have a genetic tendency to clinical depression and panic attacks. I don’t have them, now, but there is always a possibility if I don’t pay attention to my life. There was an extended period, as a young woman, when I was almost totally incapacitated by fear. I couldn’t leave the house; sometimes I couldn’t get out of bed, and I was afraid of everything including God.
It is very unfortunate, I believe, that this weed growth took place when my children were little. I wasn’t available to them when they most needed me. I drank too much to mask the fear and pain because I didn’t know what else to do. God was eventually able to break in, providing a diagnosis and assuring me of his love, and healing began. I believed that the best thing I could do for my children, first of all, was to get healed myself and so I began the long journey of recovery. I needed medication and therapy for a time and our Christian community was available to pray for me and help when I was ready to panic. So – Gift or Weed?
Rather than zapping me well, God impelled me to become well. I wanted this weed to be pulled up or killed immediately, but it wasn’t time for that. There were lessons to be learned about me and about God that I would have missed. The ensuing healings, redemption and transformation are part of my story. Some healing still needs to happen in my family, but God isn’t finished with us yet.
Perhaps, the point of the weeds in our souls is to get us in touch with the One who grows and heals and who turns what appears to be supposedly noxious weeds into lovely trees. Do I love this process? No. But I’m so, so grateful for it.
We are the broken, you are the healer, Jesus, Redeemer, mighty to save.
You are the love song we’ll sing forever, bowing before you, blessing your name.
~ Lynn DeShazo; Gary Sadler