There is a certain plant in our garden, which has very vigorous tendencies. It twines up at lightning speed, and just when you think you’ve got it all out, there’s a white trumpet flower at eye-level! Yes, it’s convolvulus, or bindweed. I discovered a huge rampant pile of this annoying plant smothering my apple tree today, and I started thinking about its tendencies.
It creeps about along the fence lines, ready to take advantage of the gardener’s inattention. It always seems to be someone else’s problem, coming through from under the fence – we always blame the neighbours for not controlling it, and they probably are grumbling about my slovenly gardening habits in allowing it to go through their fence!
It seems to me that convolvulus is a metaphor for that habit many of us suffer from, of blaming other people. It’s so easy to try and shift all blame away from ourselves, rather than stand accountable for what we have done, or why we have done it, or what we have not done. Just as we all try to blame the next-door gardeners for the weeds coming under (or over) the fence, we all try to blame someone else, rather than stand up and face the music.
But with God we can stand up and be judged, because Jesus has taken our punishment. We can pull out our own convolvulus, and instead of grumbling about it being there, we can thank God for the pretty white flowers that alert us to its presence – hopefully before it completely strangles the apple tree!
There are some blessings with this plant – the kids like to pop the flowers off, and call them ‘granny-pops’. The other blessing is that the rabbits eat them! Now all I’ve got to do is train the rabbits to climb the trees!
Have a look at my favourite song about Bindweed!