As a child, did you ever pick your mother a big bouquet of flowers only to discover later in life that those "flowers" were actually weeds? Probably. So did I.
I was reminded of this not long ago while spending a little time outside with my two oldest granddaughters, Rachel and Jordan. I was showing them how to get a drop of "honey" from a honeysuckle (a rite of passage for all Southern children), much to their delight.
Jordan wanted to know, "What other kinds of flowers can we eat Papa?" At this point I began to question the wisdom of teaching this little honeysuckle trick to the girls...well, to Jordan anyway. I could just see her sampling every blossom, bloom, weed and leaf she came across. I did my best to let them know that only honeysuckles were permissible, and even then only under adult supervision (yeah, I know, good luck with that, Papa). The afternoon ended with Rachel picking a big bouquet of honeysuckles to take to her mother. I wonder, of all the ladies in the world who received flowers that day, how many got honeysuckles?
I remember picking my own mother a bouquet of bitter weeds when I was a kid. To have seen the look on her face and the fuss she made over them, you'd have thought that I'd brought her a dozen long stemmed roses. Once I found out that the "flowers" I'd been picking for mom were actually called "bitter weeds," I stopped picking them.
That's kind of sad, isn't it? Not that my mother didn't get any more bitter weeds, but that children reach a point to where they see a difference between flowers and weeds. From that point on, the world isn't quite as pretty anymore. Something of innocence is lost that we never quite get back. We begin to see people in the same way as we do flowers and weeds. That's when bullies and cliques are created.
I know that thorns and thistles were created as a curse upon the earth for the sake of sinful mankind, but I also know that Jesus wore a crown of thorns, not roses, when He died to redeem us from sin; my curse upon His head.
All I'm saying is that it will not surprise me a bit to get to heaven and find bitter weeds growing right along with the flowers. Not because they're weeds, but because they have pretty yellow petals. If they are indeed growing there, I'm going to pick a big bouquet of them for my mother.