Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Garden of beauty, not blemishes

Listen to this post:

I wondered last post if a weed has a soul. I believe it does, but it takes an extraordinarily open heart to see it.

That notion arrived when a friend shared how her grown son, who has been troubled since childhood, came to live with her in the past two years and has made a marvelous, even miraculous, turn-around. She said society considers him a weed, but he has shown her more of God's grace than anyone. It seems she has always known the color and full petals others perceive as dullness and thorns. She has seen him the way God views each of us.

On several occasions, I have been given flashes of what that powerful unconditional love feels like. We each need a dose from time to time. Able to fully unwind in the loving and trusted hands of my massage therapist/pastoral counselor, I experienced a golden egg of energy enveloping my body and pouring directly into my heart. I had no doubt what it was or its source. Momentarily, I knew a love so deep and boundless I can't forget. A love that is always there and sees the beauty, not the blemishes.

I wish I had the gift for always seeing others and myself in that manner. Parental love is comparable and I recognize my gift to see deeply into people, but it cowers in comparison to what Spirit offers. Its current is so swift and so pure it washes every doubt away.

Again, this Sunday's message focused on the garden and, particularly, how the roots get tangled and it's hard to tell the plant from the weed, the good from the bad. The minister used the example of German business opportunist Oskar Schindler. On the surface, he led less than a model life, betraying his wife and playing into the Nazis. And yet, he used his skill and cunning to protect his Jewish laborers.

Was he a weed?

There's something very interesting growing up in the center of our garden. We assumed it was a volunteer from last year and let it be. It's grown very erect with buds that resemble mini sunflowers. Apparently it's a tree that many consider junk. I, however, have enjoyed watching it emerge with no help, strong and tall as the vegetables, which, with much tending, have staggered, stumbled, and some, succombed to the elements.

It makes me think I should replant my metaphorical garden and this is how I would go about it:
• By tending the good;
• Weeding out the negative;
• Having a clear vision;
• Developing defined tasks;
• Making time for play and joy alongside the work; and
• Practicing gratitude.

If I am honest, I sometimes produce the fruits of worry, anxiety, doubt and fear. I would like to replace them with love, kindness, compassion, freedom, creativity, joy and color. To do so, I need to start with myself by:
– Trusting;
– Making room for daily time with God;
– Knowing when to say no; and
– To accept everything else as a gift.

A TALL order that may become my new spiritual practice.

• Where do I see weeds?
• What happens when I look more deeply into them?
• What lessons are there for me?
• How have I experienced divine love?
• What difference has that made?

carefully planted
seed by seed
into moist, organic earth

illuminated 24/7,
gently moved to larger pots
and, finally, the prepared garden

rain has rotted some
heat exhausted others
bugs chewed off nourishment

as we pick, spray, water and prune

yet this lone hitchhiker
stands tallest in the ground
straight, purposeful and

how can it be a weed
just because it was unwanted, unplanted


  1. this post is very touching. in everytime you need to be humble even the worlds against you and god will gonna see it and gives you back all the blessings that you need. nice painting you got thanks...

  2. Wow, I am so glad you stopped in. Yes, being humble does seem to attract the presence of God, even in the midst of darkness and trouble. Thank you for the wonderful reminder.
    -- Cathy