"Kiss of the sun for pardon. Song of the birds for mirth. You're closer to God's heart in a garden than any place else on earth." -- Dorothy Frances Gurney
Spring. It is a time to clean out the stuff that is in the way of growing. This Lent I was way out of my comfort zone and doing some serious internal cleaning. God is merciful and has a gentle hand. My soul's garden was full of grass roots, stinging nettles and weeds which all needed to be pulled so that the flowers and trees and fruits could grow.
There are a few ways to get the tangled roots taken care of. I'm not a fan of chemicals but for some they blaze away with Round Up or other 'killers'. Dead zone. Dead zone. But where is the mercy and life in that?
Some take a spade and dig it all up and turn it over. The grass and roots are no longer seen. The soil seems nice and dark, rich and ready to care for new life. The old roots and tangles are still there. They are waiting to come up. Nothing can grow well for long in this garden.
Psalm 104:14 He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth:
Some pull each weed and grass out one by one. This is hard work, a true labour of love. But if you are only pulling the tops off the roots can still grow another one. Thistles and grass are like this - one is sharp and spreading, the other spreading with dense roots. Neither one has much mercy on the tender plants you put there.
There are times to take all your tools - spade, fork, knife, knee pads and gloves and really get into the dirt. Dig deep, reach in with your hands pull out those tangled roots, those weeds from their bottom side. Shake off the soil, put back the earthworms and you are ready for new growth. You are ready for the root plants to come back, for new seeds and seedlings to thrive. It's hard work. Your hands get sore, your knees and back ache. Done right, however I've learned, it leads to fewer weeds and much less grass to deal with all summer long.
Luke 12:27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
Our lives are like flower beds and gardens - they grow the seeds of God's love and of our testimony. They are the places that can be filled with color, light, love and beauty or they can be weed choked, tangle rooted and filled with stuff other than God's grace and love.
Instead of dreading the weeding take some time to pray as you clean out those flower beds and gardens. As you are cleaning, it will free up your spirit and mind for God to clean in your soul too! Who knows what beauty lies beneath your tangled roots.
If you garden, why don't you grow a row for a shelter or food bank in your area, or share flowers and other lovely things as a way to share God's grace with those around you. Someone might even wish to help in your garden and learn to do their own...just a thought from my May Missions: Bread for the Body, Flowers for the Soul.