Saturday, July 30, 2011

Nut Grass

newly emerged nut grass

“How do you get rid of nut grass?” the caller asked the radio gardening show host.

“You have to go all the way to hell to get rid of those suckers.” He answered.

And goodness, I think it is true. I dig and pull and think everything is clean only to find new blades sticking through the earth a few days later.

Connected by wiry runners--all coming up together
This morning I was working my dry sandy ground and thinking this is the time to pull weeds because they all come up. At least, so many come up together it gives the illusion you are getting them all.

Nut grass with wiry runners
My mind wondered to times of hunger and need for survival. I’ve always thought if God gives us lots of something there must be a use for it. The Native Americans used the ‘nut’ of the root like we use coffee beans. It looks like a knot between the different runners so I wondered how they cleaned it. I smiled as I thought B12 is found in soil. They had no problem getting theirs.

I observed the root system as I pulled out half a dozen sprouts connected by their underground runners.

top root--wiry, middle root--rope like, bottom root- brittle
Where the earth is bone dry, the roots are like wire, strong and holding tight to the next sprout. Even if that next ‘sprout’ looks dead, the root continues to the next and the next until there is some sign of life. Wherever there is a tiny bit of life, it reaches out to the next, sharing its supply of moisture and nutrients, holding on, and surviving together.

Closer to the vegetables, where there is more moisture, the roots became more rope like. They are more likely to break connection.

Where the water was more abundant, the connecting roots were almost brittle, traveling just as far, but with far less energy put into creating a strong grasp. When you pull or dig the grass, you are likely to hear a distinct snap. You know another healthy plant is left behind to plague you in a few days when it shows itself.

In God’s plan, when the need is greater, the ties are tougher. They may not be obvious on the surface, but where survival of their kind depends on it, they hold on.

It is God’s plan for us, also. We see it when love works as God planned it. We hold on tight when there is greatest need, when there is illness, or relational crisis, or financial disaster, or even spiritual dryness. We hold on and share the hope and promises of the Spirit. We hold on and let sustaining life flow from one dead-looking heart to the next. How can we know what life is lying dormant or from what direction the outpouring of water will come to quench our own thirst when we’re in want?

Heavenly Father, we are all in need of water for our earth. In this drought stricken area, we cry out to You for rain. Less visible, but no less life-giving, we need the rain of Your Holy Spirit. Refresh our human spirit. In the name of Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, refresh us, Father. Amen.

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