April 2021 has been dry and cold. Here in the South East of England, gardens are parched and the heavy clay soil is hard and solid. Great weather for walking but no so good for growing plants. Maintaining a perfect lawn at the moment is a challenging, to say the least.
On the plus side, where the grass struggles to grow the wildflowers thrive. Bluebells, daisies, violets and forget-me-nots are a welcome sight in gardens and parks. Bright yellow dandelions flourish. Seasoned gardeners watch and wait, knowing that it will be wise to take action before their flower heads become 'dandelion clocks' shedding their seed far and wide. Both wild flowers and weeds grow effortlessly with little help from we humans.
Wildflowers and weeds appear in the teaching of Jesus. On the one hand, we are invited to marvel at the beauty of the wild flowers that surpasses that of even the best dressed monarch. Consider the wild flowers, Jesus tells his disciples, even Solomon in all his splendour was not dressed like one of these. (Luke 12:27). On the other hand, Matthew's parable of the sower is a reminder of the risk posed to the healthy growth of seed crops by thorns and weeds.
While the sight of wildflowers in unexpected places is a thing of beauty and a source of joy, the unchecked spread of weeds is likely to bring grief up ahead. In nature, as in the whole of life, we do well to watch for the tell tale signs and take action at the right time to avoid problems later.
Consider the wild flowers... but watch out for the weeds.