The other morning as I walked around our cozy little house with my watering can, I saw the weed that I’d been avoiding for months. It had grown to an astonishing length. Nearly taller than the hosta plant it was leaching from, and here I was dumping water on it again.
It was one of those pokey weeds with jagged looking leaves and little stickers that lodge into your skin when you touch them. So, naturally, I avoided touching it, leaving it for weeks and weeks and promising myself that I’d get on my gloves one of these days and pull it out.
I’m not going to pretend I’m the first person to compare gardens, plants, and weeds to spiritual walks, but hey, I’m going to be one of them. Because this weed grew for no other reason than my own complacency. I let it grow right up alongside of my healthy hosta until finally it was too big to ignore. I think that’s what complacency is in our lives–seeing problems, but ignoring them until they nearly demand to be noticed.
Recently my husband and I went through some scary stuff with his health, some stuff that is still lingering. With all the hospital visits, sleepless nights, 9-11 calls, dr. visits, we began to do something we needed to do for a long time; we started to pray. Not just the prayers you mumble before falling asleep, but prayers that take time to mine from your soul because they are so deep and old within you. We started to play worship music in our home, to meditate, even sing the words together–something we’d only really done together in church so a slightly off-key melody is drowned out by those around you. We talked, cried, prayed and sang in a new way not because we became suddenly more spiritual, but because we needed to. Because we couldn’t be complacent anymore. And it was so, so good.
The funny thing is, when I put on my gardening gloves that morning (okay, I don’t even own gardening gloves… I put on my husband’s leather work gloves) and pulled out that weed, I began to see more. I pulled out another short stubby one, one sprawled across the earth, then another frail looking one with surprisingly grippy roots. Weeds I hadn’t really noticed before littered the ground, and I felt good. There was my complacency pulled out down to the roots, and there was a clean little plot of hostas, their purple buds just beginning to flower.