Saturday, July 19, 2008


I'm feeling a bit more connected to my garden, having spent my day off weeding, waiting out a rainstorm, weeding some more, planting some new fan plants in my window boxes (my wave petunias having expired a dramatic, Scarlett O'Hara-type death), and watering (yes, I know it rained.... it wasn't enough). What I didn't do: mow, and weed about 7/8 of the property. It was only one day off!

There is nothing like weeding. Even as the young child of grass-and-tree-and-flower-phobic parents (my mother always claimed to want to cement everything over and paint it green) I loved weeding. It felt spiritual to me... pulling away what is not going to bring forth something beautiful or nourishing, leaving only what is good. Jesus had other ideas, of course.

He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” ~ Matthew 13:24-30

I wonder... would any farmer, then or now, agree with such a strategy? Honestly, I don't know enough about the subject to answer that question. This seems so much more transparently "allegory" than "parable" to me, and an allegory aimed at those who would pass judgment on others. Clearly, there was something going on in Matthew's community (or Mark's) that called for some tough love. For my garden, I reject the strategy outright. For the church... I am willing to listen to reason.

My Beloved and I have had some wonderful time together lately. I'm feeling more connected to her, too.


Songbird said...

It's funny, I've been thinking about that allegory/parable angle, and wondering if that explanation in the later verses isn't a redactor. It's so FULLY explained, and that seems so unlike Jesus.
We're getting rain here right now, smells good, and my garden really needed it.

Jan said...

This is nice. This is good. Thank you for writing about it.

Suzer said...

I just finished re-reading a favorite book -- "Chocolat." In it, the Catholic priest tends a garden, pulling weeds willy nilly, while the main character, Vianne, glories in the beauty of the weeds, some of which are wild plants and herbs with great benefit. It reminded me of this parable as well, and I rather liked the twist that the author of Chocolat gave the story.

There are always so many different perspectives to learn from. :)

FranIAm said...

As one who loves gardening but does not love weeding, you have given me something to think about.

And as always you have presented us with the gift of a thoughtful and thought-filled post.

I love the image of the wave petunias taking leave of this mortal coil!!

Hearing that you feel more connected is a good thing. I see you as a tree that was in need of replanting maybe, repositioning.

You have moved yourself to a more fecund and bountiful place in the earth, your roots grow deeper and wider.

Not to say this every time I comment, but I can't help but note the changes in tone and language from whenever it is I first started coming here.

You are generous to share your journey with us and I feel especially graced to hear and know of it.

You do seem far more connected to many things these days!

Prayers for you always.

Cecilia said...

What wonderful responses... Songbird, I agree. Whenever a parable is given an interpretation I am suspicious; I tend to think Jesus left a lot of room for his listeners to interact with the parables.

Suzer, I had forgotten that part... that was a book I truly loved... what cool wisdom in that interpretation!

Thank you Jan and FranIAm. I am overwhelmed by the kind and attentive comments I receive here... you people are wonderful.

Pax, C.

sharecropper said...

Hmm - I also note a change in the tone of your blog. Calmer, more deeply spiritual, more accepting of yourself. Parables! Allegories! Metaphors! I was cautioned this morning in couples counseling not to let the metaphors I might use get in the way or distance me too much from the real issue. Am I pulling weeds or destroying herbs?

May you be blessed in knowing the difference. With love,