I was weeding the yard with my husband the other day (yeah, we have romantic moments like that). He is more into weeding than I am. When he works alone, he likes mindless labor, during which he can mull over and solve the world’s problems. When I join him, we can chat or work together in silence as we each do our own mulling.
As I worked in the yard, I was thinking about the “weeds” we were pulling up. First of all, do we really need to do this? Aren’t some of these actually medicinal plants? like the plantain and the dandelion and the mullein – I’ve taken some herbal remedy courses, and I know these have healing properties. However, a road runs along our yard, and I hesitate to use any of these plants that have had exhaust spat on them.
Although some of the weeds grow in the middle parts of our yard, most of them grow along the edge, at the road. We call them “road warrior plants” because they grow in the fiercest conditions: car/truck/diesel exhaust, snow plow dumping grounds, doggie deposits. They create a type of barrier, I think, for the rest of the lawn, guarding the tender grass and taking the brunt of the dirtier side of floriculture life.
As we pulled, my husband talked about animals (he’s into watching wildlife, discerning their habits and learning from them). “Look at the deer and cattle when they eat in the fields,” he said. “They don’t pull their food straight up. They pull sideways. I figured there was a reason they did that, so I started pulling weeds sideways, and by golly, they come up easier, and more of the root comes with it!” So I started pulling sideways. (Yup, he’s right.)
While God says, in His Word, that He provides plants for our healing, He also discusses weeds (or “tares”) that must be pulled out and burned. God was mighty particular about how He created our world. He had reasons for every bit of it.
God told Adam, when he was cast out of the garden, that he would have to work to till for his food. Those pesky weeds would be a thorn in his side, and the sides of all who came after him as they struggled to grow food in the fields. The plowed and planted fields that were made for people food had weeds that must be got rid of and burned: that’s like God growing His people and we keep sinning, and we have to weed out and put to death the sin among us. And, how God will ultimately weed out between His Chosen unto salvation, and those who are condemned to the pit of hell (Matthew 13.40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.).
But sheep and cattle and other livestock: those are the animals God wants us to take care of, and it’s important for the tender to carefully select the fields where they eat. (Side Note: If you’ve not read A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, by Phillip Keller, please do.) But the tender does not have to till the field or pull the weeds – the animals eat those. God provides.
John 10.9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
Talk about random thoughts (my Maggie Tiggles tagline)! Anyway, there’s something for you to chew on. If you pull sideways, you’ll get more nutrition.