Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Weed in the Weigela

A few years ago, we planted four weigela bushes near our back fence as a screen between our yard and our neighbor's yard. They're pretty bushes and have bright pink flowers in the late spring. They're great!

A weigela in bloom. 
The second summer we had the bushes, one of them started to take off all of a sudden. My husband and I were both amazed at the sudden growth. What could possibly be causing this? Maybe the maple tree next door shaded the other three too much—but, no, the one growing was in the middle, not on the end. Hmm. Was the soil mysteriously great there? Was it somehow getting more sunshine than the others? We were at a loss.

Being the curious person that I am, I decided to investigate. I climbed through my flower bed, past the day lilies and the black-eyed susans, to where my weigela bush was growing like crazy. I crouched down and looked at the base of the plant, only to discover...

*bum bum BUM*

...there was a weed growing right alongside my plant. No, no—not alongside my plant. Essentially growing as part of my plant. Its main stem was thisclose to my weigela's...trunk? Stem? What do you call the center branch of a shrub? I have no idea. Whatever it's called, this weed was right next to it. The weed's leaves looked almost identical to my weigela's leaves, and it was tough to tell the weed from the weigela without examining them both closely.

I felt sick. Really. It felt so gross to have this nasty weed growing as part of my lovely shrub. I felt horrible that this invader was making my garden nasty with its weediness. Blecch.

Does anyone else see the sin metaphor here? Sometimes we assume everything is hunky-dory in our spiritual lives, but there's this big, ugly weed growing right in the center of us that we can't even see. It requires someone getting thisclose to us to point it out sometimes. And we're not plants. That kind of proximity can make us uncomfortable. Can make me uncomfortable. But that sin is nasty and gross—it should make us feel yucky to know it's there. And, honestly, it feels more yucky when someone else sees it. Sometimes we can become too comfy with our sin. That weigela wasn't exactly fighting off that weed. Granted, that's not really what plants do, but shouldn't it be what we do?

Do you have someone looking at your life that closely? Someone spotting the sin for you and calling you out? And are you working at fighting off that sin? 


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