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dandelions 750pb

When digging up the roots is the only way

Regular contributor Jane Walters has been gardening, and reflecting on the need for some radical weeding!

‘It’s nothing personal,’ I say, as I wield my weed-grabber and focus on my prey; but it’s not entirely true. You see, I simply cannot bear dandelions in my garden. Granted, their zingy colour and unrelenting cheerfulness brightens a dull day, and I can’t deny the happy memories of blowing dandelion clocks as a child. All sentiment aside, however, if I see one, it’s got to go!
They’re frustratingly persistent blighters, of course. My previous (fruitless) method of picking off the flowers as they appeared seemed only to encourage them all the more. This year – a new house, a new garden – my method is ruthless: get them out by the roots.
As ever with these sorts of tasks, my mind finds parallels with other aspects of life. How many times have we tried to modify or adapt our behaviour? Break an old habit? Let go of the past? It can be the equivalent of pinching out the flowers – seeming to show immediate improvement but soon reminding us that nothing has really changed.
No matter how persuasive the self-help book is or how motivated we are on Day One, we can find new versions of those things popping up over our life’s garden, all-too-garishly obvious. It’s because we act out what’s in our hearts and until we root out “what lies beneath” we are destined to keep being and doing the same.
Having been brought up in the Anglican church, I have long been used to times of self-reflection as I approach confession. Psalm 139 starts like this: You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. Later, it continues, Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

No matter how much we might pretend otherwise, God sees right through us! He has searched us and continues to search – and this process works best with our cooperation.
There’s no doubt that sometimes this is painful. We might have to re-visit some parts of our past that we have shut a door on. Perhaps there are hidden resentments from times when others have hurt us. There might be shame concerning something we’ve done but have kept hidden. Like anything we store in a dark, damp cellar, these things tend to moulder and smell. They might be unseen but they make their presence felt.
Far better to expose it all to the Light, to the One who never stops searching for our hearts and roots out what shouldn’t be growing there. Then we can be gloriously fragrant, a prize specimen!

The image above is courtesy of pixabay.com.

Jane Walters 175Jane Walters, formerly Clamp, is the author of Too Soon, a mother’s journey through miscarriage (SPCK) and a regular contributor to Premier Radio and UCB. She leads creative writing retreats and is a popular speaker locally and further afield. Visit: www.janeclamp.com


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