Several years ago my mom was having trouble keeping a butterfly bush from freezing in the winter. Since she lives in IL, where the winters are much warmer than here, I said, “Mom, you must be getting bad plants or something. I’ll bring one down for you when we come to the family reunion.” Ours grows like crazy, I told her, but we must have a different kind. Still, the butterflies still love it, and maybe it’s the sunshine in that part of the flower bed.
So that spring we went out to our perennial garden to harvest some of that butterfly bush for my mom. And when we went out there, we noticed that our butterfly bush was, well, kind of taking over the garden. My husband, when he put the shovel in the ground and hit some very large, very woody roots, said, “Um, I don’t think this is butterfly bush.”
So we took it down to our local expert for diagnosis.
And you guessed it. Although butterflies liked it, this plant was not “butterfly bush” per se. It goes by another name.
Joe Pye Weed.
Go ahead, laugh. We did.
joe pye weed. pretty, right?
Now, in our defense, it was a pretty plant. And I am almost sure that the perennial sale we went to had this marked as butterfly bush. Needless to say, the Joe Pye Weed did not travel to Illinois that year to invade mom’s garden.
This Sunday, as last week, we had a parable of agriculture. Jesus tells a story about wheat, and about weeds. And to those farm hands who are inexperienced, unable to tell the difference between good grain and weeds, there is only one thing to do.
No, not start pulling.
Wait and see. All will be revealed.
The question is, can we wait that long?
Sowing God, we trust you to reveal what is good and what isn’t. Amen.