The Sun was hot, the ground was hard, my hands soiled and red with the twisting, yanking and pulling. I started with the biggest patch and worked my way down to the smaller ones. These weeds ran deep. So far down into the earth beneath me, crisscrossing back and forth, in and out the good grass, making it incredibly hard to tell the difference between the grass and the weed.
They sneak in, during the Spring, when the ground is soft and barely green. Had I weeded then, these monsters would've been but sprigs, but no. I let they grow and fester, let them take over. Now these monsters run rampant, choking the grass and stealing every drop of water from the thirsty lawn.
As I sit on the bare ground, with the hot Sun beating down on my back, I think that my soul has had some pretty nasty weeds. They start so small and innocent, a look here, a thought there, a hurt feeling that soon becomes an obsession. And after awhile, the weeds take control. At first, they're barely noticeable, similar in hue as the tender sprigs around them, but very soon they are dispersed until they cloak the turf in their horrid blanket. The poor soul has no chance again the weeds in his heart. They've taken root.
Pulling and twisting, yanking and jerking, my nails fill with grit and my face grimaces with the effort. "It's no use" I heave.
The Spirit starts to speak, "Lest any root..." and I know.
He is using these wretched weeds to speak to my heart. My dry, hard heart, like the ground, wishes to be free of it's creeping weeds. I tug, like before, and do nothing more than break off the tip. The Root lying far below the surface, will return at a moment's notice, a moment where the Spirit hasn't control but the dead man inside.
These roots run deep.
"I'm sick of the weeds! God, help me get rid of these pests." I speak to the ground while murmuring out of my heart. I pull, with my fingers below at the bottom of the shoot. "Gotcha!" but not without pulling up some grass. The sweet tender grass is now lying dead in the pile of pulled weeds. The sacrifice leaves an empty patch of earth. I try to stuff new sprigs in it's place. I pile the dirt up on top to no avail. It's bare and sad. The poor sweet grass is suffering because of the weed.
How many are hurting because of my 'roots'?
The parcel of ground is left empty of weed and grass. Everyone can see. Only water can bring this sad patch of ground back to life. Only Water can heal and restore my sin sick and bitterly bruised heart. Once again the Spirit's sweet words "I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely" and I take the water and pour it over the weedy ground and it heals and He heals.
I begin on another plot, using the water to soften and this time a fork to help break up the ground. "There, now it's beginning to come up." My fingers search deep in the grit for the root. A huge mass in my hand, I pull as hard and yet, as gently as I can. These roots come out and they are long. Looking at the long skinny thread that runs so far, I think "So small, and yet, so long. It makes it almost impossible." But it is possible. I did it...with help. The water to soften and the fork to break up the ground.
I glance at the monitor. My baby boy, sweetly rests in his bed. And here I sit, pulling weeds, alone. I am left to fix the yard, and my heart, when I am alone. Away from the hurry and noise, away from the laundry and the mess, I sit and pull weeds and pull the roots of grime from my heart. "How did it get so bad so fast?" And I think of how much higher the weed grows, much higher, much faster than the grass.
It takes time to grow the right things, but only a moment to destroy them.
The Preacher's Mother hears of my work in the yard, she smiles sweetly and says "You know, as soon as you pull them up you'll just have more to pull tomorrow." She's right. But this time, I'll try harder. I'll try not to let them get so large. While they are small I will pluck them up. It's so much simpler when they are fresh and new. One little tug and out they come.
I'm almost done. My hands glow red, fingers sore and gnarled from the labor. I wash the filth from my nails and ask Him to cleanse the inside.
It hurts a good hurt and I weep.
Looking out of the window, I see my pile of bitter roots. They lay sprawled out on the concrete crying and thirsting for some rich soil. Not this time. Not these weeds.
And He whispers "Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;" (Heb 12:15) And I reply "Sometimes God uses weeds."