This morning I decided to weed the flower garden (if you can call it that) that we have between our driveways. It never gets kept up, and grass and weeds take over the majority of the time. I do not particularly like gardening, and I am not any good at it, either. I had to call my 10 year old brother over to tell me what were flowers, that needed to be left alone! My memories of gardening are: “Get 3 rows of peas weeded before 10am or you are not getting lunch!” (Done by 10am, because that is when it started getting very hot, and my parents did care about us enough to not want us to get dehydrated. 🙂 )And by rows of peas, I don’t mean measly rows. They seemed to be as long as eternity, at times. Ever since I was little, I have equated gardening with weeding.
It is a lovely day, probably the most conducive to gardening as I have ever seen. The temperature is pleasant, with a breeze; the sun is shining but not blazing hot; and the ground is damp from the rain last night. My time in the garden was spent not only pulling weeds – but singing, having a few conversations, making sure I knew where the kids were, and…thinking.
Our souls are a garden of grace. How often out of neglect we let them be taken over by weeds and grass! Sometimes the weeds go by unnoticed until they are larger; sometimes we just don’t take the time to pull them out. Once we do get around to noticing them, they have often grown roots that are difficult to eliminate. Some hurt more to pull out – like thistles and dandelions. Some come out easily, but with the roots tangled in the soil – like grass. Some appear to be flowers, but are really not. Weeds are always easier to pull out on damp soil; perhaps this is why we need not only the sun of joy, but the rain of suffering in our souls.
When ever I am down on my knees weeding, I think I am actually getting a lot done. Just look at that pile grow! Then I stand up….and sigh. There is always so much more to go… This reminds me of my spiritual strivings – I think I am really getting somewhere…and then I get a glimpse of what my brokenness and how much further there is to go before I attain perfection.
So I turn to our heavenly Gardener: does He ever get tired of weeding? Tired of coaxing the small flowers of virtue to blossom forth? I do not think so – because He has in mind the vision of the beautiful garden we will become. He sees not only the dirt, weeds, and bugs; but He sees and loves the flowers that are hidden in the tall grass.
I know that our Blessed Mother helps in the garden of my soul, too. How happy it must make Jesus, when she can bring Him a bouquet from my heart! The little flowers that He loves are gathered to bring Him joy…what a happy thought. 😀
“Do thy part well; mind what thou art about; labor faithfully in My vineyard, I will be thy reward.” – Imitation of Christ, Bk. III, chap. 47