The other day I was hacking some ivy back that was trying to take over an azalea plant in my backyard. Our yard is pretty wild and overgrown. We have a lot of trees and bushes that I am slowly learning to recognize. Gardening has not been a huge part of our lives since we have lived most of our adult years in China and Central Asia. Three quarters of those years were in apartments. Now here we are back from the borderlands with house and garden.
As I was hacking the ivy, I thought I would take a swipe at this invasive species that has slowly been taking over one area of our yard. It has been bugging me for a while, but I have mostly ignored it. Everyone I’ve asked has recommended spraying it. But since I have a lung condition that is probably environmentally related, and a little dog, and live near the Puget Sound where our run off water runs into, I haven’t done that. So I started pulling up the weeds one by one roots and all. Bill saw what I was doing and joined the party. We made a little dent in the problem. Not major, but a start and if we keep at it we can maybe get rid of most of it and then be inspired to look around at what our next project can be.
So I started thinking, because I am always looking for meaning, messages and metaphors in life. What if these invasive species represent evil? War, human trafficking, greed, violence, injustice etc, etc. You name it. What if we just left it to take over? Ignored it? Even got used to it? The world would be a wild place and I don’t mean wild in a good way.
Thank God good people everyday are out there doing good every day keeping evil at bay. They are fighting inertia and making a difference in families, neighborhoods, cities, countries and the world.
We can be overwhelmed with all the invasive species or we can find our place in the garden and get to work. Whether it is cooking food for hungry people, making friends with our neighbors near and far, helping children, praying and blessing others, caring for the elderly or disabled, working for peace and reconciliation in the hot spots, or encouraging a friend or stranger. There are so many ways to honor God with good works. We all have a part of pushing back the darkness in our day and in our times.
Jesus as always is our example. He wasn’t fretting or frantic over the evil of his day or the evil of all days put together and laid on him. He had work the Father gave him to do, a job at hand and he steadily did it, until His final hour. He was not overcome by evil but overcame evil with good.