What if We Nurtured the Weeds?

What if We Nurtured the Weeds?

BY LAUREN MORTON | July 24, 2023
Sunday’s Readings

Some time ago, I served on grand jury duty. It was such an unexpected, life-changing lesson in grace, mercy, and compassion.

There will be cases from my time on the grand jury that will stay with me until my final days. I have made one or two decisions that could have completely changed the trajectory of my life, but for the grace of God there go I. I can picture the people in my family and village that nurtured me among other grains of wheat. As I reflected on my own life and the stories I heard on the grand jury, I asked myself, what would have happened if WE had let those whom society deems “weeds” grow in their youth? Jesus invites us to allow the weeds and wheat to grow together. After they grow and are harvested, he says, then gather them and destroy the weeds. What if the so-called “weeds” or outcasts of our society had after school programs, community centers, adequately funded schools, adequate social services to meet everyone’s most basic needs as children?

What if We Nurtured the Weeds?

If we took a step back and reflected on Frederick Douglass’s prophetic words, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Each of the cases that we heard were once little boys and little girls that were left to grow amongst the wheat.

Instead, their community centers and after school programs closed. Their playgrounds were left in disrepair. Their grown-ups were not given adequate resources and support to care for the children in their lives. Today, we find many broken men and women that were seen as weeds and pulled too soon.

Perhaps, if we start to look at them as mustard seeds with just a little faith, it is quite possible they could become a full bush that is a dwelling place for their community. Little boys and girls that are repaired and restored to be healed men and women. The field is overflowing with bushels of wheat and full, thriving bushes.

For Reflection:

  • How can you advocate for and accompany those whom society has deemed “weeds”?
5 replies
  1. Marc Trudeau
    Marc Trudeau says:

    Greg Boyle’s Homeboy Industries seems to have this down. They treat societies weeds as perfectly lovable just as they are, accompanying, rather than “fixing.” Fundaçion Paraguaya’s Poverty Stoplight recognizes that the poor, when trusted and accompanied, will exercise the agency to own and evolve their situations for their vision of better.

    • Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight
      Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight says:

      Marc’s rendition of Greg Boyle’s Homeboy Industries is such an excellent example of ‘accompanying the weeds’ and placing them in the arms of the Lord. We have many opportunities during the day to do the same. One of my colleagues from our University called and asked me to see him for counsel. What a delight to be asked and to listen to his story so I could see where he was in the weeds. He was clear and direct and really wanted to become at one with the wheat. Let us reach out today to assist a person that needs that sense of accompanyment instead of judgment. It is such a great opportunity to bring a person closer to the Lord by listening and reaching out to their needs. Thanks for the inspiration from Fr. Greg Boyle’s work.

  2. Patricia Grappolini
    Patricia Grappolini says:

    I couldn’t agree more!
    I’m a retired kindergarten teacher, and it was my goal to make sure that the children entrusted to me were nurtured every day in our classroom. Every child in the class was encouraged to be nurturing to each other as well. Parents volunteering and other visitors were to be part of the vision.
    I’ve lost touch with my students, but I hope that their experience in our classroom helped them grow at least a little stronger.

  3. sonja
    sonja says:

    I agree. I choose to walk one on one with some of those who are considered worthless in our western society. It may not seem like much. But people change one step at a time. We may never know the effect we have on the lives of others. But when we treat each person as a child of God. People notice.
    And together we can create a better world for all.

  4. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Thanks Lauren. The world is a beautiful place put before us by the Creator. Society has the potential to bend low to uplift the lowly.


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