Crossing Boulevard

with Rev. Rachel


I’ve done it. So eager to get cut out the ugly and provoke the fresh, I went too far. In the end there was nothing or next to nothing. All that remained was something far from nature’s design.

Case and point: Hydrangea. They’ve been trying to tell me. My new growth comes a few inches below your cut. Leave my brown stuff be, at least some it! And watch for where the green appears. You can’t always tell which parts of me I am better without.

There are hydrangeas at 812 Old Mill Rd. Fortunately I have maimed none. Dad mentioned he was able to get out there and not only water the terrace but do a little weeding as well. It was cooler.

I started to ask if that—the weeding—was better left to the crew. [My parents foresaw life, post-transplant, and hired a handful of folks to tend the yard.] At the very same time, I thought of the tares. Evidently, he anticipated the question and seized the moment wherein I was off with Jesus in Galilee: “I wanted to do it myself.”

Maybe that parable had already got ahold of him. He could have learned the other way—the way in which our God seems equally invested: Though caring for creation; which is to say, experience. In any case:

A wise farmer once taught me that all weeds were not the same. A cockle burr had shallow but widespread roots and had to be pulled. If you hacked it off at the ground level it would be back in a week. A milkweed could not be pulled. Three separate sprouts would be back in a week…

Those are Todd Weir’s words and not my father’s. From them, we might each take away our own insight. Still, Jesus holds out the caveat for all of us. It’s a word of caution. Don’t pluck. If you must, do so humbly. Things are not always as they seem. Last week it was sowing. The sower scattered here, there and everywhere. This week it’s weeding. Again the farmer operates with alternative logic and amazing grace.

We are asking for that grace and for it to make us generous…and wise. If it’s a matter of acknowledging that with time we can grow and so too can that which we look upon—if it involves ground that is on its way to being holy, if we would but let it—if it’s about the possibility of life and love abundant on mixed and trouble-ridden terrain—yes! Friends, say yes. And say it with abandon.