“WEED-BEARING SHRUB”

WORDS FROM W.W. June 7, 2011
“Jesus told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.”
(Matthew 13:24-26)

This is a story about two shrubs, small and young, bought at the store in two of those small shrub containers and carefully bedded down into the ground a few feet apart from each other. The shrubs were cared for, fed and watered, and they slowly took root. Each of them had tiny fragile leaves bursting with potential.
And then something strange happened. One of the shrubs grew at an alarmingly rapid rate, while the other shrub seemed to be barely growing in comparison. The two shrubs were pictures of contrast. How could they have been like twins from birth, who now looked like polar opposites?
As time went on the shrub that was still smaller began to display brightness of color in its appearance. It was stunning to behold. The larger shrub sprouted limbs that gave it a bad hair-day look. Each day that went by did nothing to change that appearance.
And then the oddness of the situation brought forth a solution. The larger shrub had company in it’s beginning carton, for there had also been the beginnings of a weed that was sharing the space with it. Towards the beginning of the growing the weed had given the small shrub a look of vitality, of health, and fully-lived life. But as time went on the weed had taken over the shrub, began crowding it out, drinking all of the water that came it’s direction, and expanded.
The other shrub, though small, was weed-less. It very carefully grew towards strength. After a while it stopped worrying about it’s size in comparison and focused on being what it could be. Each growing season it became steadier and more deeply rooted. It stayed on course with what it had been planted to do.
But the first shrub lost it’s direction. The weeds crowded it out to the point that it couldn’t see what it was any longer. It even came to a point where it couldn’t separate itself from the weeds. It thought the weeds were signs of it’s fruit. Everyone else, however, knew the truth, even if the shrub couldn’t see it.
Finally, a day came when the weeds began encroaching on the other shrub and it could no longer be tolerated. The weeds were pulled out of the ground. The shrub was so entangled in their existence that it was pulled up, also.
But the other shrub thrived and blossomed, and after a while, no one remembered that at one time there had been another shrub.

Author’s Note: This story, that Jesus first brings out in Matthew, was re-lived in our front yard this past year. There is still a bare spot where the weeds and shrub got pulled up, but the shrub beside it is doing well! Read into it however you want. To me it is a vivid illustration of the Christian life. Sometimes a person’s language and outward appearance fool others in the short-term. A steady walk is only noticed after it has been shown for a long, long time.

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One Comment on ““WEED-BEARING SHRUB””

  1. Janet Says:

    Another right on story. So many churches need to see themselves as the weedless shrub growing at the proper rate, doing what they were called to do instead of always comparing themselves to the giant churches.


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