One morning recently I pulled weeds from my yard. Weeds were near the mailbox, weeds were in the mulch, weeds were choking out flowers. First I leaned forward to yank the offending plants, but soon my back hurt. So I sat on the ground and scooted, throwing my weeds and sticks in a bushel basket, then taking them to the back of the yard and dumping them in the woods.
And why such a flurry of activity this morning? 1) my house is such a disaster I’d rather work in the yard, 2) it was still relatively cool, 3) I needed to write seven assigned devotionals and chose to procrastinate, and 4) I’d been paying attention to other people’s yards.
Other yards? Yes. As I walk in the mornings, I pass about 10-12 blocks of houses and yards. I observe which yards are well-kept and which could use some work. But for some reason, I especially notice the weeds growing along the curbs and sidewalks. Sometimes I’ve actually reached down and pulled out a noticeably tall one that is very out of place in an otherwise neat yard.
And as I observed the yards of others, I began to look at my own spiritual yard. Do I notice in others the same mistakes (think “weeds”) that I make myself? Do I keep wanting to “fix” someone else when I have the same sins? I think of someone who is forceful and overbearing, and then I remember a time that I was probably seen the same way, though I didn’t intend to be. Perhaps she, also, didn’t mean to come across that way.
I wonder why some people don’t host others in their home or in a restaurant. Then I ask myself how recently I’ve invited folks to my own house. I think of someone as a gossip, then I recall sharing some information I should have kept to myself.
Weeds! All weeds! It’s so easy to see weeds in the yards of others. So I decided to pull my literal weeds from my yard and follow by yanking out some of my own spiritual weeds.
And bummer. Neither stays gone for long.
It’s always weed, weed, weed.