Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Crabgrass in the Garden

I gripped with two hands and pulled hard this sunny, after-the-rain, April morning. Still, the green shoots with white suction bumps barely uprooted, laden with crabgrass — cling-ons — the villain in my rose garden. I glanced at my neighbor at work across my backyard patio area.

“You should have seen this plot when I first got here.” 

Jill, bent at the waist, hummed as she clipped roots from my thriving acacia bush. Recently, she jumped at my offer to transplant some purple blooms to her yard. 

“I spent many a weekend hovered over this minefield ...” I held up the unsightly weed. 

“Yup,” Jill shook her head. “If you don’t plant something else in soil, whatever is there, will take hold. It’s difficult to deal with.” Because of her childhood on a farm, she knew soil.

No wonder this plot is a nightmare. I shoveled a foot down and hit resistance — little roots. The people who lived here before me did nothing to maintain this backyard. The roots had a deep hold on the soil, and although I weeded every year, it seemed I would never rid them completely.

I long for a weed-free backyard. It won’t happen. Crabgrass comes with this house, in this yard. My last house didn’t have crabgrass. It had deadpan soil that stunted the growth of anything living. Trees died. This move was the epitome of exchanging one set of problems for another. 

My new job had some difficult personalities my last job didn’t. I had considered changing jobs, but I liked my work. So, I went to a counselor this week to get advice working with critical people in my life — at work and home. I get crabby just being around them.

“They won’t change at this age,” she frowned. You’ll just have to learn new ways of dealing with them. 

I’ll just have to deal with crabby dispositions like this crabgrass, I reflected now, while I tugged on another stubborn weed. Maybe they will irritate me less if I learn how to keep my heart free of a sour attitude. Although this plot is difficult, roses and acacias continue to flourish in spite of the underlying problem. The soil is good. The people with critical spirits are good too.

If I overlook the weeds on my job, maybe I’ll see the beauty of their spirit. After all, I have some ingrained areas too. Hopefully, they overlook my roots of selfishness and pride. We can produce beauty in our lives if we allow God to garden our hearts and minds.

A pastor once preached, “We all have little creatures that like to creep in and gobble up the fruits of the spirit God intends for us to live with through Him — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness … goodness. (Galatians 5:22) Healing starts when we release resentment and unforgiveness.”

"See that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." Hebrews 12:15 (NIV)

Copyright © Dee Aspin, used with permission.

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