The coming of spring sun and longer nights finally spurred me out of winter hibernation and into finally starting to tackle our garden. Over the winter I had tried to avoid looking at it, preferring to think of it as a wild habitat. The sight of our elderly neigbour’s beautiful spring blooms finally spurred my shame into action. The garden is full of flowers, but was also full of weeds. It may be hard to believe but this picture is taken after an afternoon and evening’s weeding. The weeds I managed to remove (mostly dandelions) filled two black bags. It was fascinating to see how the weeds were tangled around the flowers, the roots of the weeds and bulbs almost intertwined. As you can tell the garden still isn’t exactly a thing of beauty, and removing the weeds caused a fair bit of damage to the flowers. It’s hard to get rid of weeds by the root without pulling out a few good plants. Or to get at some of the weeds without standing on lots of the plants. But at least the flowers not have less weeds to compete with for sunlight and nutrients.
Getting rid of the weeds without causing too much damage to the good plants is a painstaking and delicate process. I could have done a much better job but my impatience got the better and I just planted my size tens on top of a few bunches of daffodils to get at the weeds.
I wonder if sometimes in our passion to be right and root out the heresies we take the quick route (pardon the pun) and end up causing some unnecessary damage to ‘good’ people, trying to figure out how to follow Jesus. It seems to me sometimes the readiness of some people to brand someone or something heretical without fully engaging with the questions/fears/doubts they raise may be an example of this.
The collateral damage caused by rooting out the weeds choking the flowers seems to be dependent on the sensitivity and patience of the gardener…