Some Come Out Only With Prayer

20 August, 2013

I was weeding the flower beds while Pepper, the mutt, went about her business and came to a stubborn creature with roots that had to run to New Zealand and back again.  No amount of pulling was going to get this baby free of the clay that hugged its deep-seated root system.  This guy was not giving up, but then neither was I!  For some strange reason the Holy Spirit used that moment to put in my head the story in the gospel according to Mark about the disciples' inability to cast out a demon from a boy.  Jesus had just descended from the mountain following his transfiguration before James, Peter, and John.   What the disciples had been helpless to do took only a command from Jesus and the demon fled.  "Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, 'Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?'  Jesus replied, 'This kind can be cast out only by prayer" (Mark 9:28-29). 

I know this going to sound like a wild connection, but it turned my thoughts to Brother Lawrence, but then my attention has been known to wonder like a chipmunk in a forest.   I had been attacking that weed with its deep, strong, stubborn roots like a mad woman instead of bending to the task as an act of worship in the presence of God.  Now, some of you may be thinking pulling weeds is far from worship, yet what isn't worship or should be worship if we're completely sold out in love with God? 

Brother Lawrence bent to the task of mopping floors and washing dishes with the attitude that he was doing so in the very presence of God.  Why shouldn't I do the same with weeds?  I started singing and praying and saying a few of my favorite passages and...the weeds didn't grow any shorter or miraculously jump from the ground like an exorcised demon.  Instead, it was I who was transformed. I was exorcised of the need to conquer and filled with the desire to worship the God who makes stubborn weeds and stubborn women.