One of my favorite Sabbath activities is gardening. Usually, I try to be as leisurely as possible, not tackling any huge projects. I just putter.

            But yesterday, I was poking around in my garden, and noticed the leaves of my irises were turning brown. I went to pull off the dead leaves and found that iris borers had attacked the roots of the plants. In fact, when I dug into the roots, I actually uncovered the nasty grub like borers, peeking their gross little heads out of the roots they were chomping.

            I’m usually a pacifist, but I chopped at those two-inch long monsters with my hand shovel, muttering “Die! Die!”

My leisurely Sabbath gardening turned into quite a workout.

            The sad part is, I had to throw away a bunch of my irises. They bloomed beautifully just a month or two ago (see photo), but if I left the borers alone, they’d continue their destruction. I had to cut away the diseased plants, and leave the ones that still have healthy, undamaged roots.

            And I thought, it’s amazing how things can creep in and destroy.

            Those little borers are nasty looking creatures, who look a bit like albino caterpillars. As often happens, God speaks to me through nature, even the ugly parts of it. The purging of the infected irises prompted a bit of self-examination. What is growing in the garden of my soul? What looks good but is rotted because it is being destroyed from the inside? What creepy crawly sins are eating away at me?

            And more importantly, what do I need to cut away and get rid of to keep my soul healthy?

            I’m not trying to make myself or anyone else feel guilty. I just want to be healthy spiritually. And sometimes, that means not just cutting away what has been damaged, but finding the source of the destruction.