Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why Do Bad People Go Unpunished?

Last summer I had a large pine tree cut down on the side of my house. A small pest had done it's work on the tree and each year the damage became more apparent. Fearful that the tree may topple in a high wind, I paid an arborist for its death.

The stump was ground down leaving a circle of uncultivated dirt in my yard. The crime scene remained fallow for the remainder of the summer and through the winter, but when spring arrived, I eyed the blank space with envy.

My recent lay off kept my resources in check so instead of my usual trek to the local nursery, I opted for a bag of wild flower seeds from Lowe's selling for $5.99. I amended the soil and laid out the seed as prescribed on the back of the bag. I watered the planting faithfully and waited. Soon little green shoots appeared and as they grew so did my anticipation of beautiful flowers.

However, there was a problem with my plan. Along with my flower seeds, other seeds were germinating. Some of these seeds were well recognized weeds; others - well I wasn't sure. Since the bag of seed contained a variety of plants, I could not tell what was weed and what was flower. I let them grow together hoping for a resolution when the flowers finally bloomed.

My plan backfired. As the garden grew, the weeds intermingled densely with the flowers. When I tried to pull out the weeds, the flowers came out as well. Frustrated, I gave up, but I noticed something curious. When I viewed my flower garden close-up, the weeds were readily apparent. When I viewed the garden from my second-story, bedroom window, all I could see were the beautiful pinks, blues, purples and whites of the flowers. It occurred to me that this is the vantage point of God - high up - he sees only the flowers.

"Another parable he put before them say, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. So, when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the householder came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?' He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?' But he said, 'No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let them both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, 'Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.' " Matthew 13:24-30