Yesterday, after returning home on Monday, I went outside and found that the nut grass had overtaken a small patch of ground that I had recently retrieved from my overgrown domesticated wild flowers.  Because I had not replanted, the nut grass freely flourished. 

I was catching up on my phone calls as I walked in the garden.  I reached down balancing the phone with one hand and pulled up the grass.  Unfortunately, I got none of the roots.  Nut grass has spindly green spikes with a root that looks like a nut.  Unless you get the roots, this persistent weed becomes stronger each time you tug at and remove the top portion.  Using my makeshift, cosmetic fix of only removing the top portion, I knew I was merely making the ultimate task more difficult.  However, I continued to tug at and pull up the green part of the weed.

This morning during my prayer time, I was reminded of how many times in my life I’ve insisted on manicuring the tops of my life’s weeds while ignoring the root.  Especially in my relationships, I’ve allowed tough problems to grow underneath the surface, too afraid of the hard work and sorrow that removing the roots would cause.  So often in my life I’ve been a terrified child who refused to open the closet in the middle of the night because I feared that a grotesque monster lurked behind the doorway.  This inability to face hard problems has consequently wreaked havoc in my life and the life of my family. 

Perhaps the bravery of the parents of children with disabilities is the thing I most admire.  They courageously tackle impossible situations with the tenacity of a hungry lion conquering its prey. These parents can’t hide their head in the sand waiting for things to change.  Even before they are told, they understand that their child is in peril and this innocent person must have an advocate to untake for them. 

I’m reminded of my friend, Diane.  When her son, Ed, started to show signs of Alzheimer’s after a serious illness, she got on the internet and began to tackle remedies that would make his situation better.  Miraculously, we saw him inch his way back to reality.  Her bravery was beyond belief.

Many times, I’ve hidden behind desperate prayers and false spirituality wanting the Lord to supernaturally change me and my circumstances, while remaining unwilling to do the hard work of digging up the root.  Diane and other parents have taught me much about LIVING a Christ-like life.  It’s hard work that must be coupled with reality checks that wrench at our spirits and rip us from our selfish motives, inward inspection and petty hurts. 

The nut grass will be back in a week, stronger than ever.  However, I’ll not ignore the roots again but dig into the ground and pull up the offending source of this pesky plague.  I only pray that God will give me the grace to do the same thing in my life when offensive and fearful specters reappear in my life.

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