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Ephesians 2:10:

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 


“Who were those people at your house yesterday, Linda?” asked my neighbor. We were both outside to gather our mail when Pauline called to me from her front porch.


I flipped through my envelopes. Medical bills. Ron was in his third week of hospitalization. I looked up to respond to Pauline. “Friends from church,” I told her. Pauline, a retired widow, likes to know what is going on in the neighborhood. “They came over to help with a few things Ron will need when he comes home.”


“Looked like they were pulling weeds,” she said.


I nodded my head. “True. My life is pretty full of weeds right now.”


“Oh,” said my neighbor. “It’s good to have friends like that.”


We chatted for a few more minutes, sharing news of our families and Ron’s ongoing illness, then went into our respective houses. I put the mail on the desk to deal with later, thinking about Pauline’s words. It IS good to have friends, but even better to have friends with the hearts of servants. During the seventeen years following my husband’s car accident, I have had plenty of need for friends who will not only come and pull my weeds, but hold my hand.


In the Parable of the Ten Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), Jesus makes it clear that we are to be working in His vineyard and caring for His sheep. In the very beginning of His creation, God placed Adam in the beautiful Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15) and instructed him to care for it. We no longer live in the lush paradise, but our grass still grows and our weeds still sprout. It takes a true servant to kneel and attack the weeds. We tend to feel sorry for the servant who received only one talent and unwisely buried it in the ground, but all the talents God entrusts to us are as valuable as millions of dollars, if we use them correctly.


Ephesians 2:10 says that “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” That should make us think about the talents God has given us with new respect. God knew IN ADVANCE what talents we would need in our lives and who could use them. As much as the framers of the Constitution would like to protest, we’re not all created equal. We live in a world of diversity, each expected to use what they have been given. All of us are entrusted with caring for the world God has given us and for each other. And sometimes there are weeds to pull.


The accident that critically injured Ron and forever altered our lives happened long ago, but on that dreadful night I needed all of the servants with all of their talents. I needed Pastor Lou, who talked his way past the security guards long after visiting hours were over. I needed Deacons Bill Slawter and Joe Kounnas who came with thermoses of hot coffee and prayers. I needed Dr. Joanne Hoffman, who somehow put the parts of my husband back together again. I needed my daughter Bonnie, who has never let me sit through one of her father’s surgeries alone. And I needed my best friend forever, my own BFF, Chris Kyelberg, who not only came and sat with me until the wee small hours of the morning, but has continued to hold my hand ever since.


These are talents God gave. These are talents that were well used. And God had prepared His people in advance, ready to import their gifts to me (Ephesians 2:10). Ready to help with the pesky weeds.


Chris and her daughters and grandson not only cleaned off my weed-choked hill, but put up handrails on the stairs to make it safer for my husband. Later, Chris came back with her daughter-in-law to cut my grass. And other servants from the church have also helped with needed accommodations and medical apparatus, each giving of his own talent. It doesn’t matter if these servants have used one talent or ten. Each gift was immeasurable in value.


Just yesterday, another of God’s servants came to do some more yard work on those ever-present weeds. And Pauline, always on alert for neighborhood happenings, called across to me, “More work on your weeds, Linda?”


“Always, Pauline,” I told her. “The weeds will never stop growing.”



And God will never stop sending His servants out into the world to take care of them. 

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