Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mean Little Weed

No doubt you've heard the parable of the seed. It's the one that talks about the different kinds of ground that the seed can fall into and what happens to its life-giving potential when it does.

Some seed falls on hard ground, and it's immediately scooped up by the birds and devoured. Some seed falls on the shallow soil, and there's nothing there to hold its roots, so it sprouts up, but dies quickly. Some seed falls on decent soil and grows up, but there, it is among the weeds, so it gets choked out. And some seed, of course, falls on good ground and produces a harvest countless times larger than itself. 

And the moral of the story is that you ought to be good ground, that if the Word of God has taken deep root in you, there's something good about the ground you've got. 

But I have a yard and a rock garden and a real garden and a path, and I'm not sure I buy it. Because some of the most stubborn plants that I've got on all my property are the mean little weeds that grow up in the cracks of the sidewalk. And spiritually?

I'm a mean little weed.

I've been thinking a lot lately about my life, about my journey, about how I got to the place where I am now. I've been thinking about some of the things that make me good at what I do, whatever it is that I do, and that allow me to do good things in the world. I've been thinking about the things that are liabilities in these same regards. And often? They're kind of the same things.

I think about how I've never really felt grounded in this world. I've always had this ability to just be and just do whatever the situation requires that I be or do. In fact, that might be my primary orientation toward doing or being anything. And this makes me a really great friend, and a pretty good minister. I'm able to respond to a situation and become what is needed in order to bring something meaningful or good out of it. 

At the same time, what am I really offering? The roots only go so deep before they hit concrete, and there's nothing there. I'm operating not out of something that is grounded, something that is foundational in any sense of the word; I'm operating out of this necessity to be something specific. And what am I when there is no specific need? 

Essentially nothing.

A weed in the cracks.

I think about how unlikely I am, how I'm really the kind of ground that you wouldn't expect would grow anything. I don't know that anyone looking at me twenty, thirty years ago would have said, "Now that is a good piece of ground." A pretty sidewalk, maybe. Or maybe not. But I don't know that a lot of people would have given me a shot, especially not a shot at being anything of God's. 

Yet, here I am. Not only against all odds, but stubborn as heck about it. There's not anything you can do about me. I just continue to grow here, continue to defy this world's best tricks. I don't know how I do it. I don't know what it is that I've got hold of down there, but it must be something because nothing gets rid of this weed. I just stand there in the cracks, taunting a world that says I'm not possible. 

But here I am.

There's so much about this image that I love for my own story, so much about this idea of being a weed in the cracks that just makes me smile. There's so much that it makes me ache for, too. It's just something I'm letting roll around in my heart a bit these days, so I thought I'd share. Nothing special.

Or maybe....

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