I went running today, looking for lilacs. I’d seen some the other day on a drive to the grocery store. I knew one particular spot on my running path that sported lilacs last year, so I deviated from my new route to find lilacs.
Found them I did. Poking through chain link, they smiled at me, winked nearly, and beckoned me to pick. Along the roadway I picked several fronds of wisteria as well–no I’m not a flower thief; these were all in public places.
As I ran, I noticed a stand of flowers and weeds along the roadway. Beautiful, actually. I love how God plants little forgotten gardens along roads. I thought about those flowers and weeds a long time until I prayed.
“That’s what it’s going to be like at the end of the age, isn’t it?” I asked God. “There will be a fine prairie of folks, some weeds, some flowers. And you’ll pick your bouquet.”
God whispered, “Yes, but don’t be fooled. I might just pick some weeds.”
“Really?” I remembered the wheat and the tares parable.
“Weeds are flowers too, only their roots go down deep. Don’t judge a weed. There are qualities of weeds you can’t see. Some flowers bloom for a day and fade. Weeds endure.”
I thought about that as I jogged home. I wonder how much of our evangelical Christianity is merely fading flowers without roots. Perhaps it’s that God wants us to be tenacious like weeds, holding firm to the soil that anchors us, sending taproots down deep. We see and applaud the flowers in our midst. We pay them huge advances for books about fluff. We cater to their whims, treat them like stars.
I want to be a pretty weed. Deep roots. A happy flower with staying power, like a dandelion. Or maybe a blackberry bush, with fruit that lasts along roadways.