Monday, May 3, 2010

Weeds and Witnessing

(my neighbors yard on the left...mine on the right)

I'm going to let you in on an unusual secret...God speaks to me when I mow the lawn.
 I know...I know...that's a little weird and strange.
But, I've found that God likes to move in unexpected ways in my life...
He tends to use the "shock effect" on me quite a bit...
He wants to know He's got my full attention. So, today as I mowed the lawn...
God spoke...and here's how the conversation went:

As I mowed the strip of grass that divides my side of the yard from my neighbor's, I couldn't help but recall the statement my Dad had made weeks ago about the weeds from my neighbor's lawn encroaching on mine. "You know, before long those weeds  in your neighbor's lawn start becoming community property!" Now, my first thought was, "What am I supposed to do, walk up to my new neighbor (we've only lived here 4 months now) and say, 'Hey nice to meet you, by the way, do you mind keeping your weeds on your side of the line?!?'" With that kind of introduction, I'm pretty sure my neighbor would never speak to me again. There's nothing like someone pointing out the weeds in your yard...it's kind of like telling someone their kid is ugly.

So, as I mowed this strip of grass today, my Heavenly Father said,
"Don't worry about your neighbor's weeds."

Me: Huh? What did you say?
God: I need to talk to you about the "weeds."
Me: Right now? While I'm sweating like a pig and bugs are flying up my nose? Now?
God: Yep.
Me: Can't we do this at our regular time, after I get cleaned up, around noonish?
God: Nope.
*(Now that I live in Texas, God talks to me that way...the "Yep and Nope" stuff.
Glad I don't live in the Northeast!
That conversation would probably go something like:
Me: You talkin' ta me??
God: Yeah, I'm talkin' ta you!  
just kidding LOL)

So I began listenin', and when God stopped talkin'...His Word began speakin' to my heart.
Weeds are so easy to compare to sin. They tend to come up easily and in very unexpected places. They're hard to get rid of. You can run over them with your mower...but they'll just grow back. They have to be pulled up or killed at the root. There's no other way to keep them from coming back. So, God's Word spoke volumes to me as I remembered my dad's words...I needed to be careful those "weeds" didn't start encroaching in on my property. I don't want the "bad" to corrupt the "good!"

Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." 1 Corinthians 15:33

Yet, if I approached my neighbor with an attitude of pride at the superior care of my lawn and disgust in his...he would never speak to me again. Likewise, if I approached those who sin and said something like, "Hey, I don't like the way you live your life...look at all that sin (weeds)," I'd never have an opportunity to witness. What I really want is for my neighbor to continue to see how I care for my lawn, killing the weeds, and say, "Hey, I've noticed your lawn looks pretty great...what are you using to take out those weeds?" What I really want, if I'm living my life for Christ, is someone to say,"Hey, it seems like although you're dealing with a lot of trials in your life...you have a lot of peace and joy anyway...How do you do that?"

It's about taking care of the weeds in my own lawn...it's about examining my own life...

Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine.
Test yourselves.
Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you;
if not,
you have failed the test of genuine faith.
2 Corinthians 13:5

I don't need to point out to my neighbor that he has weeds consuming his yard and that they're encroaching on mine...the fact that I'm tending to my own yard and focusing on weeding my own property draws a line that will make it evident.

So as God's heart finished speaking to mine...I heard Him say,
"Well, I'll let you get back to work...
see ya at the end of the day."
"Thank you, Lord," I say.

As I finish the lawn and step inside to rehydrate and cool off...I peer out my windows, admiring the lawn...it looks really great. I've done a lot of work on it...it's come a long way! From a distance it does look good(how others see it), but for myself and God (with a close up viewpoint), we know otherwise.

I take a deep breath...sigh...and then hear God's still small voice say,
"You've got some weedin' to do."
"Yeah, I know Lord...thanks for pointing that out,"
I respond.
"You're welcome," He so lovingly says.

9 comments:

Bina said...

I just found your blog via Alicia over at Life's A Journey...and I am so glad I did! I have spent much time talking with God and I can promise you that even in California, He speaks in an accented sarcasm :)

Thanks for sharing this lesson...as I have often spent time looking thru the weeds in other's yards as well, needing the prompting of the Spirit to look after my own yard in the desire to be seen as His!

Many hugs,
Bina

Cherie Hill said...

Thank you sister! So glad I've found you too! Seems we worship the same God with a really big sense of humor! I'll be dropping by your page more often! :)

alicia said...

Cherie, this was an awesome post!
So very true that to live our lives for Him and as we should is such a better way to witness then to point to others and go over their laundry list of wrong doings. I certainly don't want that to be done to me!
Have a great day!!
(and God totally speaks to us in a way that we can understand and if that requires sarcasm, so be it! :)

Loren said...

Cherie! I can't believe HE speaks to someone else while mowing!! wahoo :) I thought I was just plumb crazy ;) Seriously I have had some of the BEST conversations with the Lord while mowing...Learn soooo much out there from HIM!!

Wonderful post...never saw things like this ....thanks for sharing! We are having dog issues with our neighbor....got me thinking :) Thank you LORD!

bless your Friend!

Steph T. said...

Ok...so we have something in common girl! God talks to me when I mow too...I love it. I love to mow. Sad huh? LOL! Just time to sit and think about life. Great post. I will think of you when I mow down those weeds tomorrow. :)

Cherie Hill said...

So awesome to read your comments Alicia! I've found God helps us do laundry too! ;)

Loren, Steph, I am SO relieved that I'm not going totally nuts...knowing that you girls have the same "mowing" experiences! Funny how God works isn't it!?! Loren...Oh boy...the neighbor/dog thing...I've felt your pain! Praying for you sister! Steph...okay, truth be told...I mowed over quite a few weeds myself yesterday! LOL! ;)

Love you sisters!!!!
With joy...in Him,
Cherie

NanaNor's said...

Blessings Cherie, I love how the Father gets our attention in different ways and at different times. I love analogies too-ways to apply His truth to my life. Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Noreen

Andrea @ Unfailingly Loved said...

Thanks, Cherie, for stopping by today and leaving a comment on my post about talking to yourself like when you were nine. I am glad that it encouraged you. There is so much more I would have liked to share on that post, but my heart was too raw ... I trust that God gave me the right words for the right people. I am thankful that it spoke to you.

Have a blessed day in the Lord as you serve Him and love Him with all of your heart!

DORCAS said...

Very glad we have crossed paths. Thanks for sharing!

~blessings

Dorcas

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I am so blessed that you would take the time to share your thoughts with me! You encourage my faith and I pray that God will fill you to the full with His love, mercy,and grace! With joy, Cherie

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