The reign of God, dandelions and all…

I like my neighbors. None of us are particularly into our yards. Sure we mow them. Sure once in a while we lay down a little fertilizer, and every now and again we spray some weed killer, but for the most part, we’re just happy to mow whatever grows and be done with it. As you might imagine, we get dandelions from time to time. And once there is one, there are five, then fifteen, then a couple dozen. Nobody seems to plant them or sow dandelion seeds; they just seem to show up, unannounced! It’s like they grow out of no where, and grow anywhere… good soil, bad soil, rocky soil, even in the tiny little driveway cracks… how do they do that? No one plants them there. No one tends to them… they just grow… everywhere!

What if I told you that when Jesus says the kingdom of God (or reign of God or presence of the way God would like the world to be run) is like someone who sows mustard seeds, it was the equivalent of someone in Minnesota saying, “the kingdom of God is like someone who sows dandelion seeds… “ you’d think the speaker or preacher was a little nutty… no one sows dandelion seeds! Professor Matt Skinner says, however, this is about what mustard plants were in Jesus day, weeds! They grew everywhere… and often in places you didn’t want them to grow! They are invasive, pervasive and get into everything and everywhere! The kingdom of God is like a weed?

Well… maybe… like dandelions the kingdom of God seems to be able to grow almost anywhere… in good soil, like almost anything… in rocky soil (like rocky difficult people like Peter perhaps – his nickname was “Rocky” after all),… and some even in the most shallow of places like the cracks of a sidewalk or the crustiest of cruelest people. And most of the time the kingdom grows there and who knows how or why! Sometimes the kingdom starts to grow, and then for some reason it dies, or wilts… I’ve seen that happen to plants, dandelions and people. I might have even felt a little wilty myself, more often than I’d like to admit.

So I kinda like the idea that the love of God is a like a pervasive weed… It gives me some hope. Despite my block-headed nature, it’s possible, even God’s will that a dandelion or two pop up in my parched soul. I kinda like the idea too that not only might God’s kingdom pop up in me, it might pop up in places we didn’t expect… in politics, in economics, in other cultures, other faiths, even in people who don’t go to church, and sometimes in places that are really un-church-like! I’ve seen dandelions growing on a dock!

Which brings me back to my yard… I’m grateful to have the reminder every time I pull into my driveway that God’s love is kind of like a little bit of beautiful disruptive chaos in what I’d like to be the perfectly manicured lawn called my life. I’m grateful that life and love are promised to always find a way in, even in a place like a tomb… I’d like to imagine that there was at least one dandelion in the garden growing out of the rock that tried to seal Jesus in the grave…

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