by Lenny Cacchio
Another parable he put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, 'No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.’ (Matt 13:24-30 NKJ)
I spend a lot of time every spring and summer digging up weeds from my lawn and mulching them in my garden. The weed I dig up the most is the dandelion. It and its pretty yellow flowers just don’t belong in my front yard.
Still, the parable of the wheat and the tares reminds me of the dandelion. When God made the dandelion, he said it was good. When I see one, I can’t wait to yank it out, put it into a bucket, and turn it into fertilizer.
All because it’s growing where I don’t want it to grow. So let’s sing praises to the dandelion.
Its bright, cheery flower brings variety to a drab, green lawn.
Its leaves are full of iron and other nutrients and in some quarters are considered a delicacy.
Its sap is a fool-proof anesthetic for mosquito bites, and its roots, when steeped, make a nutritious tea.
And you can even make dandelion wine.
I call the dandelion a weed because it grows where I don’t think it should grow. If I were to grow them in my garden on purpose, I would call them a crop. Growing where they grow, I change one letter in what I call them and treat them accordingly.
So when the man who sowed the good seed instructed his servants to let the tares grow together with the wheat, it might be because you and I who are laboring in the fields cannot tell the difference. We might think one is a tare because it is growing where we think it ought not. Or maybe it doesn’t look the way we think it should look.
Or maybe we don’t see the value and potential of one who is despised.
When God made the dandelion, he called it good. So to the Father who made the dandelion – and each one of us -- here’s a toast to you, offered with a glass of dandelion wine.