lessons learned: crabgrass and intolerance

Upon arriving home from my residency, I marveled at the wonders the gardens had produced–tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, squash, flowers, and on and on.  It was like Christmas morning–I walked out the door and gifts abounded in each vegetable patch.

And then I sighed.  There it was.  The crabgrass.

If you’ve never dealt with crabgrass, lift up your voice in a big “praise be!”  It is just a mess.  Not only does it spread wide, it digs deep.  There’s no swift tug to remove it.  It requires digging fingers deeply under the surface or buying a specialized tool to assist you.

From the landscape, the crabgrass taunted me.  While I let Creation do her own thing on our homestead, I can’t allow the crabgrass to stay.  It is insidious and will choke anything in its path.

As I knelt in the hot July sun, I began dreaming of ways to get rid of it.  What would take less time?  Less energy?  Less intentionality?

Toxic spray from the hardware store!  Ugh, toxic spray from the hardware store.  As someone who ascribes to creation care, I could not, in good conscious, even consider that option.

I couldn’t fight insidious with toxic.  It would only eliminate one problem and create another.

And so, for the last three days, I have methodically, patiently, and carefully tugged at at each individual plant.  I have used my own fingers to dig deeply and intentionally to remove the whole root system, ensuring that it will not arise again.  It may not be the most efficient solution, but it is authentic to what I believe in caring for the earth.

One of my favorite quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr. is:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness.  Only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate.  Only love can do that.

Perhaps removing hate, intolerance and injustice is like removing crabgrass.  Intentional acts of love and compassion may not seem as “efficient,” but they dig deep and wide and are authentic to who we are as people of faith.

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