Often, in cartoons, we humans are pictured as persons with an angel
sitting on one shoulder and a demon (with pitchfork) on the other.
Either the angel or the demon manages to influence our decision on an
issue. Would that it were that simple. One of the parables seems to me
to give a much more difficult view of the human condition.
“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in
his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds
among the wheat, and went away. So when the plants came up and bore
grain, then the weeds appeared also.
And the servants of the householder came and said to him, ‘sir, did you
not sow good seed in your field? How then, has it weeds?’ He replied,
‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Then do you want
us to go and gather them?’ But he said,’ No, lest in gathering the
weeds, you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together
Until the harvest; and at the harvest time I will tell the reapers,
Gather the weeds first and bind them into bundles to be burned, but
gather the wheat into my barn.'”
There is a mystery here. Why let the weeds grow along with the good
stuff? What sort of gardener/farmer is this man when he tells the
servants that he permits the weeds to stay? (There is a particular weed
in the Middle East that grows and looks, for all intents and purposes,
like wheat -that’s cunning!). If you and I ran a wheat farm, we’d be out
there bumping the weeds straight away with some aerial sprayed selective
The core of the mystery is the “leave the weeds alone until later”. It
is puzzling, unless I see myself as the place where the seeds are sown.
Then I see the deep insight into my own persona that this parable offers
me. That actually inside me, (not sitting occasionally on my shoulder)
two things have an opportunity to grow. And depending how far I want to
take the image of the parable, I, as the field, can feed one, the other,
or both. That the incredible wrench of taking out one thing of two
(unsatisfactory though it may be) could actually cripple any real
possibility of growth.
And like a lot of the parables, there is an end game. This is about the
kingdom of heaven. God’s place. There is a harvest at God’s place. At
that time, my field is gathered up. What happens?
The problematic wrestling inside me which I have lived with all my life,
is dealt with as, in what is now the appropriate time, the evil things
are bundled up, taken away and eliminated once and for all. The harvest
of the good seed is taken into the presence of the householder with
great happiness and celebration. Then the way in which we encourage
either seed within us will then be evident for all to see.