This article originally ran August 12, 2014 and was re-recorded January 30, 2017.
Jess Smith wrote a great article about Plantain. Though it’s a weed almost everyone has hated, it’s been a gift from God, sitting under our noses—and our houses, lawn mowers, and weed killers—for hundreds of years. It cures, it heals, it draws… Read Jess’s short article.
I’m still amazed how many gifts God gives us that we try to reject. And, it takes a lot of work to be a full-time “rejector”.
Dandelions are also healthy. How many of those have fallen victim to “healthy weed genocide” from Scotts® EcoSense® Weed B Gon®? Not to disrespect weed killers. Just sayin’, maybe we don’t need to kill all of the weeds.
Not everything that grows without the lawn-keeper’s permission is bad.
God surrounds us with countless blessings that we overlook every day. We complain about the inconveniences, the injuries, and the injustices. Bad things happen—and that raises questions that have already been answered and perhaps need to be answered again. But, good things also happen, even though we don’t see them all—good things that we rarely recognize. And, they are all around us. How many other “miracle weeds” will we discover in the years to come?
It reminds me of a short story one of my Theology professors told. He compared God’s many blessings to the grassy fields of his farming days. As a boy, he slaved with his brothers to prepare a healthy pasture for the cows. When his father was pleased, the boys would open the barn and let the cows run out into the field of tall grass for the first time. They did this year after year.
And, year after year, one cow in particular always despised the farmers’ hard work and ran right through the grass, all the way to the fence, and started chewing on some nasty shrub poking through from the other side. It was typical “green grass syndrome”—the belief that the grass on the other side of the fence has more chlorophyll. That cow never appreciated all the work her farming family did for her.
Reading about Plaintain was a huge lesson in gratitude for me. It was a fantastic reminder and an eye-opener about how much work God does for us that we snub on a daily basis.
Or maybe my professor got his story confused…
Maybe it wasn’t the cow that was ungrateful, but the farmers. Maybe the cow knew something the farmers didn’t. Maybe the cow was trying to tell my professor something: where the healthy food was. Maybe she was chewing on a spot of Plaintain poking through the fence, which was much healthier than any tame grazing grass in that so-called “perfect” field.
Maybe the bigger lesson is that organized, pasteurized, “perfectionized”, institutionalized religion isn’t healthy for us. Maybe it’s best to get spiritual food in Christ without the herbicides and without controlling every blade of grass that springs up in the Body of Christ. And, maybe non-conventional Christians who are branded as “ingrates with green grass syndrome” really have found something that is healthier, even though it sprung up without the “pasture-keeper’s” permission.
Thanks, Jess, for a great article on weeds.