6/23/2006

Bare Ground--Good?

So...we got a deep, earth-drenching rain yesterday. We love to go out and pick up limbs and "weed" after a heavy rain. The soil is so moist that the weeds pull up all the way down from the root. My garden often does speak to me, and yesterday, once again, it was deep.

Standing there, holding a dandalion leaf with a five inch HUGE root--no way I could have gotten it out until the soil was thorougly drenched.

After all this talk about being "dry" vs. "drinking His water"--I realized it's as true for us as it is for plants: It's very hard to let go of "weeds" in our lives all the way down to the root until we've been thoroughly drenched by His water, His life, His spirit, His purposes, His "rain".

Isn't that profound? Okay, tell me it's profound. I know...gardening and all, some of you think I'm a weirdo...but, it's a family thing. My grandmother did it, my mother did it, and my husband did it. Once you do it, you never stop longing to see something grow, care for it, nurture it. Just something about it that calls to you.

Well, anyway, so I'm then pulling up some perfectly good grass in perfectly good soil! What about that? That injustice of it all!

So, I ask myself..."Why can't the grass grow here?" It has every "right" to grow here. It is a "legitimate" plant. It is beautiful grass. It is a good plant.

Then, the gardening mantra came back to me: "A plant out of place is a weed". Period. Pull it. Kill it. Move it. No mercy. Beauty is created by intentionality.

But...why? I asked myself. The answer was obvious, of course. The flower does not show forth all it's glorious wonder, well, in the middle of a pile of grass. We weed so that the area around the flower is BARE.

As in....NOTHING GROWING THERE.

Well, what about the "inefficiency" of that! Hmmm.

I looked, again at my own inner life, and in all my "efficiency", longing to use every square inch of what I own and what I have... "productively". I realized in this approach, we can overlook this need for unused space--need because it emphasizes the focal point of what is being nurtured...what is most beautiful, most intentional, most lovely, glorious.

Someone told me once that there is nothing that CAN compete with Christ, so we should not worry about this. Hmmm. I'm not sure. I suppose you could put it that way. That is not the lesson of my garden. Focus. Weeding. Bare space. Declutter. Order. And, there's this: the grass can get mowed in the yard, it is cut and tended, but when it is in the flower beds? No...it grows out of control, tall, sets seed, and is unsightly. It must go.

It is not "intentional". I suppose this is the difference in this argument. Both rationals work. No...nothing competes with Christ, and yes, other things can clutter the picture.

This whole lesson brings about a longing in my spirit for intentionality, room for bare space, and focus on what is supposed to be the focal emphasis of my life right now. That constant paring down. Highlighting.

Well, that's all on the garden. I hope it's not too lame. But, even if it is to some, it spoke to me, and is, therefore, perfect to blog. Go get drenched, then weed!

~Me

1 comment:

cj said...

Really liked this post--but then again I am an life-addict to gardening as well(does that mean I am weird?). Still, it brings back to light something that I think God has been working in me for the past year and that is although a thing may be good, lovely, with merit, if it is not planted by God, it does not belong. Some would say that's okay if the thing is "religious, church, spiritual" but it definitely is NOT okay. The grass issue----if I let grass (good, lovely, of merit--when in my lawn) grown where I have not planted it, it does grow unruly, set seed, multiply, etc. But, what I think is even more crucial is that the grass will steal moisture and nutrients, crowding out the thing you WANT to grow, depriving it of the light of the sun/son (think about that for a while) and if left alone, will eventually cause the flower to die.
So yes, that good and admirable thing, in the wrong place, wrong time, not planted by the Gardener does become a weed and we know from the parable of the sower what the weeds do. Could this be why we see very busy, very tired, very frustrated men/women of God? It challenges me to be ever watchful that the only thing growing in my "garden" has been planted by the Lord. Now, speaking of garden--mine has a lot of weeding to do after the rain yesterday too.
CJ