heart and soul

Tending the Soil of the Soul to Keep the Weeds Away

Removing weeds by hand in a garden. Image courtesy gabriel12/shutterstock.com

Removing weeds by hand in a garden. Image courtesy gabriel12/shutterstock.com

After services as a boy growing up in Minnesota, I can still recall my father’s reflections as I sat uncomfortably in my powder-blue polyester suit in the back seat of our rusting family car. We were trying to escape the synagogue parking lot with all the other congregants rushing toward the exits.

Having just spent the morning reflecting, beating our chests, repenting, and listening to the rabbi talk about various themes of forgiveness, my father observed that we hadn’t even left the parking lot and people were honking at each other, shaking their fists angrily and cutting each other off.

“How quickly we forget,” he would say to no one in particular.

“We can’t even make it to the road and we are already treating each other poorly again. Where are these people going that they are in such a hurry? Selfishness and entitlement are such fast-growing weeds.”

I have come to realize my father was a bit of a blue-collar sage, and perhaps that’s why the words of the prophet Isaiah have always resonated so deeply for me.

 

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