Weeds or Wheat?
by Kathy Beck
Our son, Travis, is Director of Parks in Santa Cruz, California. Not long ago he called us from the car while he and his family were on their way home (fear not—our daughter-in-law was driving). Suddenly we heard him say urgently, “Stop, stop!” The car window went down and he called, “Sir? Sir! What are you doing?...Oh, I see. Well then, thank you.” The car started up again.
Curious, I asked what had happened. “There was a man in one of the city flowerbeds, pulling up plants,” he told me. “He said he was weeding.”
“How did he know which ones were the weeds?” I wondered, and Travis explained, “He said they were singing.”
That was intriguing. “What were they singing?”
“I didn’t ask,” he replied with a touch of impatience. “I didn’t need to get into an extended discussion about singing weeds with a homeless person.”
Fair enough. But my question was also fair: How do we tell the weeds from the wheat, the harmful from the valuable? God (and the homeless man) could hear what those weeds were singing. Perhaps it was a song of gleeful destruction, a dark chant of hopelessness, or a desperate cry for help to the Creator who makes all things new. Maybe it was a joyous celebration of existence, of sun and good earth. We can’t tell because we can’t hear the song of the weeds.
Let them grow until the harvest, when the difference will be plain. Perhaps what we judge to be a weed has a hidden purpose, a song we can’t yet discern. God is good at finding uses for things we do not value, whether plants, people or circumstances. “Be still,” God counsels us. “Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but wait. Nothing is wasted in my creation.” May we be patient until things ripen and the way forward becomes clear.