The Butterfly Garden Cont.

We had a warm day a few weeks ago. The kids played in their new sandbox while Kyle tackled the butterfly garden. Thirty minutes with a leaf blower and a chainsaw made quite a transformation. He cut down dead trees and blew out last year’s leaves exposing the intricate rocks and stone pathways. From a distance, it looked beautiful. Up close, however, remained deep-rooted weeds and poisonous vines.
There are only a few effective ways I could get rid of Poison Ivy: 1. I could contaminate our ground with cancer-causing chemicals. That is one quick and easy option, however, not only is that a toxic method, but there are no rewarding life-lessons or sense of pride to follow. 2. I could buy or even rent a goat. That’s not a bad option – but goats can be expensive and I don’t have time to find a goat. Or 3. I could pull it up by hand. I learned last year that I am not allergic to Poison Ivy. I pulled it up from around a tree and never developed a rash. I also found that pulling it out by hand keeps it from growing back.
So, after Kyle did his part to clear the garden, I went back to the garden with a hoe, gloves, and my old worn out jeans with holes and dried paint. With my hair pulled back and leather gloves on my hands, I began to pull out the vines. As I began to tackle the Ivy in our garden I heard a voice in my head say, “It takes someone who is not allergic to Poison Ivy to pull up Poison Ivy.” Not quite sure of the significance, I continued.
I started by yanking on what I thought was a small vine, only to find it had buried itself under a large boulder and peaked back out the other side along the ground where it extended over to other rocks, where it again weaved in and out of the stones and back into the dirt where it was rooted. Once the root was found it really wasn’t that hard to pull out. In fact, it was rather rewarding. I would have spent all day there if time had allowed.
A few days ago I went back at it. It was one of the first warm and sunny days of spring and the garden was calling my name. My sisters were staying at my house and Christine, my older sister, without any prompting, explored our property and she too saw the potential of the unique, enchanting garden.
As I cleared out leaves from under a large green perennial discovering hidden buds of mysterious flowers, the Lord spoke to me and said “I am the gardener and my people are the garden. I see the potential in someone before it’s been uncovered. I am willing to reach in and get my hands dirty to clean away the baggage of sin. Just as Poison Ivy does not affect you neither does sin contaminate or intimidate me. It takes One who is not allergic to sin to remove sin. I am He. I am the perfect spotless lamb and I can do it. I don’t see people as their sins would define them. When others see weeds, I see buried flowers.”
Joy filled me as I continued pulling out vines and carefully raking up small sticks and other chaff. At times I tried working faster and more abrasively, trying to get the job done more quickly. In doing so, I accidentally racked up bulbs along with the weeds. I felt like God was saying “Slow down. The garden is fragile and cannot be perfected overnight. Likewise, I do not sanctify my children in one day. I pull up one weed at a time – gently and thoroughly. I’m not intimated by the length of time it will take nor does the enormity of sin cause me to give up. Be patient. Be patient with your home. Be patient with your garden. Be patient in parenting. Be patient with your spouse. Be patient with your loved ones. Be patient with yourself. Be patient and steady. I make all things beautiful in My time. – Ecc. 3:11″

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