Saturday, May 30, 2015

Surely It's Not a Weed?

All around me life is teaming.  There's the usual prairie-fare on the valley floor below; alfalfa, barley, corn.  On the hillsides high above are flower-like thingies appearing in profusion with each uptick in the thermometer.

It's all just so spectacular.

What strikes me in these scenes is how lovely are the weeds; sometimes more lovely, even, than their non-weed soil companions.  They're referred to as noxious in these parts, which is to say they're harmful or poisonous.  They've been known to completely destroy a crop meant for market.  From the unskilled eye it's hard to distinguish them from the unharmful plants ~ plants like the lovely wild Lupine, Snap Dragons, Violets or Sunflowers.

All that to say, the noxious & obnoxious here makes it's much easier to comprehend the Lord's teachings on sowing & reaping, tares & wheat, or sheep & goats when considering their polar opposites.  It would seem there's little difference  between right & wrong, holy & vile, pure & polluted.  Sin often (always) is dressed all up in finery and fancy.  Only later do we see the rash (or worse) it's produced in us.  What's more, we don't recognize its stealth in choking out the genuine, healthy, truly lovely blooms alongside it.

"He who hunts flowers will find flowers;
and he who hunts for weeds will find weeds."
~ Henry Ward Beecher 

I realize this is not popular subject matter.  More's the pity.  It surely ought to be. Not the hellfire & brimstone iteration, but the exposing of those things that may tantalize today and torment tomorrow. Rather than cozy up to what the world says is OK (the list is endless) when we know it is not, we choose to embrace & live according to His higher, better standard.  

First we have to recognize what is & 
isn't a weed.  

It is true:  "Sin will take you farther, keep you longer and cost your more than ever you intended to pay." (Unknown)

Roses are red;
Violets are blue;
But they don't get around
Like the dandelions do.
~ Slim Acres

"Sweet flowers are slow and weeds make haste."
~ William Shakespeare
Don't water your weeds. ~ Proverb

"A man's nature runs either to herbs, or to weeds; therefore let him seasonably water the one 
and destroy the other."
~ Frances Bacon

The kingdom of heaven
may be compared to a man who sowed
good seed in his field, but while his
men were sleeping, his enemy came in 
and sowed weeds among the wheat and
went away.  So when the plants came
up and bore grains, then the weeds 
appeared also.  And the servants of the 
mast of house came in and said to him,
'Master, did you not sow good seed in
your field?  How then does it have 
weeds?'  He said to them, 'An enemy has
done this.'  So the servants said to him, 
'Then do you want us to go and gather them?'
But he said, 'No, lest in gathering the 
weeds you root up the wheat along with them.
Let them both grow together until the
harvest, and at the harvest time I will appear
and tell the reapers, 'Gather the weeds first and 
bind them in bundles to be burned,
but gather the wheat into my barn.' "
~ Matthew 13:24-30

Photos:  Taken in the hillsides and orchards adjacent to my home just last week.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Remembering to Remember

Every time I think life cannot get any better, it does.
Many times when I thought life could not get any worse, it did.

These thoughts come to mind today as I walk alongside several people who are really struggling at the moment.  Through no fault of their own, life has visited upon them hurts and hurdles that threaten to rob them of hope and joy.  It is little wonder people face despair.  I know I have.  

The years, my years are mounting; one upon the other; layer upon layer.  Time, like a glacier, has a way of moving under its own weight, often accompanied by the stress that shifting weight creates.  And yet ... that very shifting creates the glory & beauty that is the very life of a glacier or, in my case and yours, the life of the life.  Moraine fields are stunning though born in a crush.

I don't understand why some people appear to lead charmed lives; lives seemingly free of heartache or obstacles.  I've known a few such.  But mostly I've known of the other sort ... the lives with peaks and valleys; sunny slopes and shadows of death; songs of rejoicing and dirges of sorrow.  These things are no respecter of persons ~ they visit indiscriminately.

So I remind myself that the best is always yet to come.  Wherever I am today ~ high or low or in-between ~ the promise of better, greater things is as sure as sunrise.  Truly we must remember to remember that.

So we do not lost heart. 
Though our outer self is wasting away, 
our inner self is being renewed day by day.  
For this light momentary affliction is 
preparing for us an eternal weight of glory
beyond all comparison, as we look not to the 
things that are seen but to the things 
that are unseen.  
For the things that are seen are transient, 
but the things that are not seen are eternal.  
~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother on My Mind

I stood there looking at heaven's rays
Thinking I might just grab a gaze
Of her brown eyes or gnarled hands
Where she now lives in heaven's lands.

I held my breath & willed a prayer
As if she might descend a stair;
Coming near with tender touch ~
I longed to see her, oh so much

The years have ripened since she went;
My own life nearly all but spent.
My hands now gnarled; my eyes now dim,
At heart I am her child again.

I stood there long at heaven's rays
Knowing she has caught a gaze
Of her wee lass who'll come her way
Because she was a mom who'd pray.

I cannot see her from this place.
So I must, I will run out my race.
Then one day I will climb that ray
Upon the route of heaven's way.

I love you, Mom; I'm glad you wait
For me to join you through that gate.
And until then I'll long to see 
Your tender eyes look back at me.  

~ Me

In loving memory of the
amazing lady known as
Helen Evelyn Grinnell Wells

My Mother