In elementary school, one of my teachers told me I was like “the girl with the curl” in a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; when I was good, I was very, very good, but when I was bad, I was horrid. A teacher told my wife Pat the same thing about her. Maybe it applies to some degree to many, perhaps all of us. We are capable of being good and kind, as well as petty and hurtful.
Jesus’ parable of weeds among the wheat illustrates that in the world around us, the noble and virtuous co-exist with the destructive and what is evil. His message is that this will continue to be the predicament of our world until the end of time when God is all in all (1 Corinthians 15:28).
We carry within ourselves both our better angel and shadow side. Martin Luther taught we are, by grace, at one and the same time, both saint and sinner.
As it is realistic to recognize this ambiguity in the world around us, so it is wise to accept this about ourselves. We then focus not upon our own goodness or lack thereof, but upon the source of all goodness, who embraces us in forgiveness and faith.
O God, we give thanks for your love that makes us whole. Amen. — TDW