Thursday, September 20, 2007

Roots - Part 2...

The kids had a little (ha, ha) excess energy to burn last night, so while dinner was in the oven, we headed outside. They played, I pulled weeds from the wood chipped area in the backyard.

You would pretty much have to be a long-time reader of this crazy little blog to know, let alone remember what my original Roots post was about. Seeing as how I'm my own most faithful reader, I clearly remember it -- in fact, I still think about those things as I'm out pulling weeds. Last night was no exception.

I am a total nerd and will happily admit that pulling some of those two foot long roots out of the ground gives me a reasonably large sense of satisfaction.
It struck me last night how I approach these particular weeds much differently now than I did when I first found them. Originally, I began by pulling them the same way I did other weeds in the yard -- with a firm grasp close to the roots, pulling up in a swift, plucking motion. As I discovered the long, sprawling roots connected with these weeds, I soon learned that I had to completely change my method of removing them, or the weed would come and the root would stay. These weeds can not simply be plucked from the ground. They require patience, they require gentleness and they require flexibility, as the root is never laid out in a straight path and extends in both directions. It almost always winds wildly around and through other weeds, and is connected to weeds I never would have thought it would be.

Last night, as I was pulling this particular weed from the ground, my thoughts went from the actual weeds, to the ground left behind. I have not yet been able to get an entire root out. They are so very delicate, and they always seem to break just when I think I finally am making some progress. Each time it breaks, I look for the other end of the root in the ground, but have not been able to find it. The dirt and wood chips masks the location of where the root I hold in my hands ended, and where the one that stayed behind begins again.

I began thinking that the ground underneath my feet will never be the same after I've removed these weeds. I've disrupted the soil, I've removed something from it's ownership, and I've left a path of emptiness. The new rain that falls on the ground will now seep in differently today than it would have last night. It will be absorbed differently and will feed what lies beneath in a new and altered way.

As I moved onto removing the little hunks of grass from the play area, I started thinking about how different the same process of removal became. The grass is not nearly as delicate as the weeds with the long, tangled roots. If I use the same gentleness with the grass that I do with the other weeds, I'll get one blade of grass and leave the rest behind. I have to use more force and just yank it out to get the roots. As I did, I took note of the clump of dirt and wood chips clinging to the grass. This time, not only did I take something out of the earth, I took some of the earth with me and didn't replace it. This time I didn't leave an empty path, I left a hole. I disrupted the wood chips and dirt around the hole. Everything looked different, and it was obvious that something was now missing.

How true is all of this for what lies beneath the surface in my own life? Very.

I'm no different than any other person on this planet. I'm a sinful human being. I have emotional scars, regrets, guilt, and inner conflict. I also have joy, dreams, ambitions, cherished memories, and hope. They are all pooled inside, tangled together.

I work hard to make sure that the good things stay, and stay close to the surface. I try to remove the bad things, knowing that each and every attempt will never result in completely taking it all away. Something is always left behind, and even if what I've gotten rid of is negative, there are still holes and empty spaces residing where the "weeds" used to grow.

This is where I'm so thankful for my faith because I know that I'm covered by His Grace. He can see each and every root, and is the only one who knows the source of each and where the tangled pathways lead. He knows where each one is and is just waiting for me to find it myself. As I try to pull the weeds and tend to the flowers, He can fill in the holes. He can pour His love into the empty spaces. He can add his healing rain to encourage the good to grow.

I can't remember what my life was like before I truly, truly discovered the comfort and peace that His Grace gives, and you know what? I don't want to.

9 comments:

Renee said...

I get excited whenever I see that you have a new posting. I just love to read what's on your heart, because it usually touches mine. I love the word pictures that you paint, and it is so wonderful to see God shining through you.

This analogy to roots is very genuine and true...thank you for sharing it, and making us think. Love you, friend!

Short Stop said...

This is my favorite post on your blog that I've read so far! It is SO thought provoking, so REAL, and just a perfect analogy to our lives!

I don't want to know what life would be like without my Savior either. How empty and tangled and messed up my life and heart would be!

Thank you for sharing this, friend! I LOVED reading it!

Heather C said...

You have a beautiful way of taking the ordinary and turning it into a beautiful lesson of faith. Jesus had the same gift. :)

Thank you for being used by the Lord today. I'll be back often and am adding a link to your blog on my page. God bless you!

Earen said...

Wow, what a great blog Tara...so deeply though provoking! I love it! I love how God allows us to think & correlates things in His creation to our lives. You said it all so beautifully.

I think of weeds as the sin in my life & if I don't get to the root of it, it comes back again until I have that hole that finally the Lord can heal. Thank you for the reminder of all of this today friend!

Mari said...

Wow - that was a "deep" post! Very thought provoking. Don't you love it when God allows something as normal as weeding to point out something spiritual?

Jennifer Partin said...

Tara,
What an inspiring post!! Beautifully written, beautifully said. Keep shining, girl!! :)

Alana said...

I'm still learning trying to get a grasp on the grace thing.

And I have to agree with Heather. You've just composed a parable.

Terri said...

Wow, great analogy to something so simple as weeding. Isn't that exactly what Jesus did when He taught the parables? He used every day things to teach about the spiritual.

Rebekah said...

Amen, sister. I have been having some emotional disappointments lately and I do feel like there are holes left in my soul. Your analogy is perfect. Thank you for posting