It seems that Spring might finally have arrived. The signs are all around. Grass is growing and needs to be mowed. More and more bugs are out buzzing, and dandelions are starting to burst out of the ground. To most people dandelions are weeds. They are botanical pests that are very hard to get rid of, but to most young children they are beautiful flowers that make wonderful bouquets. This reminds me of a profound piece of wisdom I learned long ago: Weeds are just plants that we have not found a use for yet.
A weed is the term we used for unwanted plants. This says a lot about our perspective. Why do we value green grass over yellow fields of dandelions in our yards? Our collective dislike of dandelions says more about us than it does the plant, and I think there is a spiritual lesson hidden somewhere in there.
I am not the first one to notice this. There was a Christian band in the late 90’s/early 00’s called Five Iron Frenzy that sang about this in one of their songs appropriately titled Dandelions. The song begins with telling a simple story, that nearly every mother has experienced. A young child picks dandelions to lovingly give as a bouquet to his mother. The mother treasures these flowers, putting them proudly on display in a vase. In the chorus the lead singer crones, “She sees love where anybody else would see weeds.”
In the next verse the song pivots to God. After singing about God’s greatness and mercy the song lyrics question: “Where do I fit in this puzzle, what good are these gifts? Not a martyr or a saint/ Scarcely can I struggle through/ All that I have ever wanted, was to give my best to you. “ The song concludes: “Lord search my heart/ Dandelions- You see flowers in these weeds.”
When it comes to putting our faith into action, one of the reasons why we do not is because we are left wondering what kind of difference will we actually make. We see only limited results, we see inconsequential drops in a bucket, and we see what we think amounts to nothing more than weeds. However, dandelions are a reminder that not all weeds are useless. I know it is an obscure and unknown song, but Five Iron Frenzy was onto something. When we seek to make disciples, nurture disciples, transform the world, and serve God in love then God sees beautiful flowers. God sees love and obedience where others might see weeds.
In the kingdom of God there are no weeds, there are just people that have not found their purpose yet. There are so many ways that you can use unique passions, talents, and gifts to make the world a more loving, peaceful, and kind place. May you do that. May you not be afraid of failure, of being called out, or of not getting earth shattering results. I feel assured that whenever we humbly and earnestly seek to serve God, then God does see flowers in the weeds.