The Cheerful Weeds

“If God so loves the little flowers, I know he loves me too”

In April 2016 I had the privilege to meet with some of the Saskatchewan WMS women in Saskatoon.  During worship the meditation “The Cheerful Unrepentant Weeds” by Jan Sutch Pickard was read.

In the beginning God saw the cheerful unrepentant weeds: thistles and dandelions – and God saw that they were good. They bloomed on poor soil and in the barren wilderness; they brought colour into a solemn world.*

Dandelions always make me think of my mother. One of her favourite stories to tell was of a Sunday after church when my brother was very young, about four years old.  While the adults were standing around talking my little brother ran up to Mom with his hands full of dandelions and a beaming face “Here Mommy, I picked these for you!” From that time on we never complained about dandelions at our house!

Sometimes I think we worry too much about being “perfect” – perfect green grass in the yard, perfect flowers in a bouquet (no flowers with missing or double petals!), perfect hair, perfect children – you get the picture.

My husband likes to complain that squash and mosquitoes are two of God’s mistakes. But, does God really make mistakes?  Shouldn’t we appreciate that everything God makes is for a purpose? Even, perhaps, dandelions (and thistles, and squash).

A few years ago when working on my Master Gardener diploma I had to do a paper on garden weeds and how to control them.  I checked back to see what I had written about dandelions:

Although annoying to gardeners the dandelion does have some good characteristics. Plant parts are used for food, drink and medicine.  Dandelions are also beneficial to pollinating insects.  In researching this paper I have developed a respect – and admiration – for many weeds!  Most of these weeds can be discouraged in our gardens by altering the soil pH and improving the quality of the soil.  To my surprise, the majority of them have health benefits and were used historically for many practical purposes.  Is it possible that by trying to ‘eliminate’ these weeds we have been destroying plants that have beneficial uses?    Weeds are part of the tapestry of life that makes everything grow.

Thistles? Dandelions? Squash?  Are there other issues in life that you are struggling to understand or accept? Creation is God’s work and we need to work together to make a place where all “creatures great and small” are accepted.

These weeds – as down to earth as you or me – are parables of the wisdom and work of God.*


*Dandelions and Thistles, Biblical meditations from the Iona Community, Jan Sutch Pickard

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2 thoughts on “The Cheerful Weeds

  • May 7, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Susan, Your comments about dandelions couldn’t have come at a better time. My mother always looked forward to her first bouquet of dandelions from her children and when we had all moved out my dad took over! My sister and I think of her every spring when they show their yellow faces!

  • May 7, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    Thanks Ruth ? cheerful faces!


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