My flowers need water, but I threw my back out Sunday afternoon, carrying a pile of brush to the curb for Chipperman, who was supposed to come Monday. He didn't show up Monday, but he came today, for about 45 minutes, until his chipper motor overheated and he left.
I'm not really complaining about the heat. I like it hot. It's one of those perfect days, where the air conditioner is set to 78, and it feels like a refrigerator when you step in from outside. I live for these days. They are my favorite. I just wish we could have some gentle rain in the evenings. That would be perfect, beautiful, grace upon grace. Sunny, 90 degree days, with cool, rainy nights, my absolute ideal of a climate. I suppose heaven will be something like that, except maybe not exactly, because I don't know a lot of people besides myself who have a preference for 90 degrees.
There, you see just a speck of a cloud. That was my sky a few days ago.
We have a couple more clouds now,
but nothing that looks like it has any inclination to rain on us.
Also, I wouldn't be averse to some healing for this back. Watering the garden is pretty fun, if your back doesn't hurt. You can bomb around with a hose, and get yourself wet like a little kid out in the heat and sunshine. But having back spasms sort of sucks the joy out of the process. I'm not meaning to complain. I'm just saying.
Before I did my back in, I worked on thinning my cleome. The first year I had cleome, I planted a packet of seeds. The packet said, "Easy to grow!" so I sprinkled it over the ground, worked the seeds into the soil and waited. Nothing came up. In the end, I went to the premium nursery in town, and bought a couple of cleome bedding plants. They grew, blossomed, and went to seed, and they've been self-sowing ever since. It's okay, because I like them a lot, except when the thorny stems nick my fingers and draw blood.
Anyway, I was thinning the cleome, and as I pulled out the smaller competitors to free up the bigger plants for more vigorous growth, I noticed something. There was crabgrass under the thick layer of little cleome volunteers. Lurking, the nasty weed, figuring that under the lush baby cleome foliage, it would not be noticed.
Weeds do that. I'm not sure how they do it, but they seem instinctively to know how to grow hidden, under things that are not weeds, camouflaged. Some weeds grow next to seedlings that have similar leaf structures to theirs. Some weeds are really good at pretending to be authentic plants, until they get big enough to do real damage, popping their blossoms and spreading invasive seeds everywhere.
The weeds in our lives are like that, too. Sin camouflages itself next to virtues.
Criticism hides under discernment. Indulgence hides under grace. Fear hides under prudence. Bitterness hides under perseverance. Laziness hides under peace. Disengagement hides under trust. Pride hides under confidence. Perfectionism hides under excellence. Manipulation hides under love. Self-loathing hides under humility. Self-righteousness hides under righteousness. They grow up together, a bad quality with a good one, and it is very hard for us to figure out how to root out the right one, and preserve the other one.
Life is hard. This is why we need the gospel. Only through the atoning death of Christ can we have access to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit helps us understand the truth of God, and thus make our way. Lord, please rain your grace down on us and help us every day.
For the word of God is living and active,
sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing to the division of soul and of spirit,
of joints and of marrow,
and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
~Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)