Weeding: A Lenten Poem by Karise Gililland

By Karise Gililland

I wrote this poem after being too long delayed by various illnesses- a child’s ongoing strep and tonsillectomy- in getting a handle on the weeds in my flowerbeds. Spring came early (we’ve had almost no winter here in Texas) and by the time I got out there, it appeared to be a starting-all-over-again sort of weeding endeavor. Instead, I was surprised to find that last year’s lovely flowers had dropped seeds, sprouted, and were making their way of their own accord. My striving turned to enjoying and resting in the mysterious ways of God, for as Gandalf says, we turn out to be, “quite a little fellow in a wide world after all”, when it comes down to it. God is always at work growing us, even when we can’t get any specific thing done to account for it! What looks like fruitlessness to us, is often God at work where we can’t see Him. Hope grows from realizing that He will accomplish what He wills!

                                    WEEDING

Nothing is more Lenten than the act of weeding
Prepare this garden for the spring to come
Stretch, crack the back, and snap the greening thumb
Cultivating nature compels such annual ceding

Flushed fever keeps us from the early sunshine
Strong medicine must work, recuperating;
the garden wears its weeds while we lay, waiting
reluctantly, the rampant weeds go viral, rash with dandelion

Last year that ward was crowded with disease
(I know enough to recognize such weeds)
In frantic fear of overgrowth-true unease-
ensign of hope, one purple glory testifies that seeds
rely on so much more of Him, and less of me
All that seemed receded, now reseeds

*****

Text and image by Karise Gililland, a Texas mama, teacher, writer, and occasional cat wrangler/hamster hunter.

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