photo © 2008 Ian T. McFarland | more info (via: Wylio)I grew up in the suburbs, and I always believed that grass grows everywhere. Sure, I knew that some neighbors had more lush lawns that others neighbors. Some folks in the neighborhood used a service to have greener grass. There was a general but intense dislike of crab grass, but grass always grew. It would even invade flowerbeds and need to be removed. Yes, it sometimes needed re-seeding or fertilizing, but those were just efforts to make it grow healthier, stronger, or not turn brown in the summer.
As an adult I have learned that grass does not always grow. In my backyard, there are lots of areas that grass does not grow. There is the area under the trees. Moss grows there. Apparently there is not enough exposure to the sun for grass to grow. Around the fence line there is no grass. Our dogs patrol the fence line barking at the various animals and noises beyond our yard. They have trampled the grass. There relentless running and patrols keep grass from growing. In the middle of the yard there is a large patch of dirt. I have no idea why there is no grass there. It is the yard’s very obvious bald spot. The dirt is hard packed clay, and it seems an uninviting location for grass.
The condition of my lawn led me to thinking about the condition of our souls. Sometimes we assume that everyone, including ourselves, are prepared to be places where the Holy Spirit can dwell and produce spiritual fruit. This is not always the case. The conditions need to be right for the spirit to grow and flourish within a person. There needs to be exposure to God and to living a life of faith. Otherwise, the person has no way of getting exposure to God’s grace, like the area in my backyard under the trees. Another person may be feeling so completely trampled that there is no hope of grass growing. The grass or grace has been stomped out of the person, and they have no hope for anything different. This is like my fence line. Then there are people whose lives seem to be absent of God’s grace, and there is no clear reason why they are not growing in God’s grace. Sometimes we just don’t know what is going on within another person. Our job is to tend to our souls in order to create an ideal environment for God’s grace to grow. Our job is also to help others be nourished so that God’s grace may grow within them. So, how does your grass grow?