The Magnificent Weed


How often do you notice the proud and prolific weed? I suppose it might be harder to notice these fine forms of vegetation if you live in an urban area or have a garden professional who maintains only proper garden growth for you.

I, however, live in a rural area and have a difficult time staying on top of the rogue vegetation that so easily has taken over our drought-dead front yard. When it was too thick to mow with our push mower, Sam resorted to pulling the big-clumped weeds. Now I can sit at my desk and once again see what few real plants are still alive in the front yard. Such a contrast to the verdant weeds that had taken over.

We have an open field on one side of our property. I look out on this field every morning as I enjoy coffee and every afternoon when I swivel my office chair around, put my feet up on the window sill, and gaze out over the field awaiting inspiration. Sometimes inspiration is slow in arriving and I resort to catching up on articles saved on my iPad.

The owners of the field are away for long periods of time. While they’ve been gone, we’ve had some serious rainfall. The grasses are now knee-high. The lower weeds have flowered and brought huge swarms of yellow butterflies! It was amazing to see undulating yellowness throughout the day over most of the field.

Spring is also the time when the magnificent weed grows taller than me! I’ve been monitoring the growth and spread of the magnificent weed in the field. Last year the owners weren’t away so long and sprayed each weed before they flowered, much less got as tall as me. Now they are left to grow taller and produce beautiful pink flowers and sturdy stickery leaves. They are entering into the fullness of their magnificence.

And therein lies the problem. When the magnificent weed is allowed to flower, it sheds some ten thousand seeds that hitch a ride on the wind to be cast far and wide. The magnificent weed isn’t so magnificent for pastures. Cows and sheep don’t eat them. Even goats won’t eat them! In fact, the magnificent weed is very invasive and quite detrimental to pasturelands.

When I see the magnificent weed, however, I think of a story Jesus told about weeds. When Jesus told the story about the weeds (Matthew 13:24-30; aka the parable of the tares), he was speaking a word of warning about judgmental attitudes toward others. Only God truly knows the depths of someone’s heart. It isn’t our place to make that judgement of what someone believes or how they believe.

I give thanks for that magnificent weed and its reminder to have an open and generous spirit toward others. Amen.


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