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43FAC05F-D660-422E-97A4-80A9D9B6FA69It’s just after daybreak and there’s a muted grey in the air. I’m racing against the sun. Who will get there first? I plop myself down in front of a disheveled bed and assess the damage. Crabgrass thru and thru. My arch rival, next to squash bugs and Japanese beetles.

I hear the cicadas warm up in unison like the string section of a symphony. It’s just a sound check. They’ll play the entire movement tonight when the curtain draws back with dusk.

My back is arched and I’m feeling it already. Using two hands to pull with all my might, these cursed, webbed roots. They grow up and inside the ground cover and I’m forced to peel it all back, then pull. And isn’t that just the way it is? Peel back? Pull? Isn’t the hard work of sorting wheat and chaff a bit like surgery? You’ve got to get right down into the guts of it. Get to the marrow. And then put your back into what’s gotten into you.

I’m dripping from my forehead and I wipe it away with a dirt-freckled arm. I arch my back and find a moment of reprieve. Sigh. This is hard.

The blackberry bushes are nearly bare but for some scattered late bloomers. I feel generous; grab a handful and leave the rest for the birds. Actually, I’m just weary. Can you find yourself most generous in weariness? Too tired to cling to what you feel is rightfully yours? I can honestly say I’ve been there with my Maker. “Too exhausted to fight you; just take it.” And He makes good on bone-tired pleas.

Now I’m seeing clusters. Grapes, once tiny and green, now plump and a dusty purple. They’re ready for me. And now I think He’s being generous. Generous with the lessons and the parables. Lavish with the fruit and provision. Gracious with every gift that cultivates – pests and weeds, included. It’s producing within me. It’s working for me. It’s all for good.

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