Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Acorns and Sin

The kids and I got out to enjoy the gorgeous weather yesterday and to do one of my all-time favorite gardening tasks: clearing away some of winter's dead leaves and twigs to make room for new, growing plants. I always have a Secret Garden moment where I want to chant "clear it away so the plants can breathe!"

But I was also struck yesterday with the image of the sprouting acorn and sin (no, I'm not talking about the temptation to sin after pulling up the 100th sprouted acorn...). Rather, I was mulling over how urgent it is that I pull up all sprouting acorns this week. If we wait, they'll be impossible to pull up by hand by next week. If we wait until spring is in full force, we'll have to dig them out with a shovel. If we wait longer, then we just have to live with the newest oak tree in the yard. Much as I cherish our gigantic oak tree in the front yard, the acorns it drops are perilous bullets in the fall and much dreaded vehicles of hardest-weeds-ever-to-pull-up. Have you ever tried to pull up a sprouting acorn?

Trees grow these amazing taproots that reach way down in the soil and are super strong, even in their infancy. It's a miracle of creation when you think about that tiny acorn becoming the giant oak. But it's also a terrific picture of what happens when we let sin take root in our lives, isn't it? Of what happens when we don't nip it in the bud--in ourselves or in our children....

So that's what I was mulling over as I yanked up hundreds of sprouting acorns in the midst of clearing away winter's deadness so my baby daffodil shoots can breathe, so we can see the blooming lenten roses, and so we can enjoy the purple and yellow crocuses.

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