Weed Whacking


By Denise Dietz

For years I’ve been in an all-out-war with weeds. As a gardener the first sign of them signals an immediate warning that an action plan is needed. I begin considering the options. Do I pull it, burn it, poison it, whack it or let it go?

Weeds have a reputation for being good for nothing and I’ve long viewed them as an evil enemy. Recently I was studying permaculture design concepts and our teacher, Geoff Lawton, shed a whole new light on my view of enemy weeds. He explained that weeds fill niches (holes) in ecosystems and suggested that before we bring out the arsenal of weapons to destroy them, we should stop to ask the questions, “What hole are they filling and why are they there?” If we are patient, we can gain a tremendous amount of wisdom from weeds. We can learn to view them as opportunities instead of opposition to our best gardening efforts. For instance the common weed, dandelion has a long tap root and grows in compacted soils. So if you observe them flourishing, you might consider the condition of your soil.

When we force our ecosystem to be non-diverse, we create hundreds of holes. When an ecosystem has reached a stable function – there are not weeds. There cannot be, because there are no holes and it has complete integrity. What genius God has revealed to us in His creation. All living things have an intrinsic worth.

Slowing down the action against these evil intruders brought to my mind a parable Jesus told about allowing the weeds and wheat to grow together. Here’s how it goes:

The Parable of the Weeds Explained (Matthew 13:36-43)

36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

So my friends – just before you power up that weed whacker, pause for a moment and observe! The reason for their existence reaches far beyond our understanding. A time is coming, very soon, when the harvesters will take care of the weeds once and for all.


Original post published on Prize31.com, October 10, 2015


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