Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So, throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.James 1:19-21 (MSG)
There once were two farm-hands who were unwanted anywhere else but found a place under the Farmer. Both were very special. Both were given a fair amount of fertile land. Every tool needed was provide to both. Both were ordered to take care of it. Neither really knew how.
You see, one farm-hand, let’s call the farm-hand Red, had the tools and grew up in a wild farm until it was bought out. Though Red did not farm the land, Red saw what to do. So that must mean that Red knew what to do on a farm. Red was confident that taking care of the farm would be easy. There was no need to seek the Farmer on a job Red knew how to do. And no silence told Red otherwise.
Not only did Red grow up on a farm, Red grew up talking. Talking was second nature to Red. Red liked how sound could feel the empty space in ears. Red liked how talking was not as scary as there just being nothing. So Red talked. Sometimes when Red talked, especially about others, dandelions grew.
The small, cute, fluffy, white dandelions would just sprout somewhere near Red. Ready to blow a wish on them like a candle. Red did not know why, but Red liked the flowers. So Red paid the flowers no mind when one would appear after Red talked about the farmhands on the old farm, or what should be done on this farm, or what Green, the other farmhand, should do better. Red talked and talked, because Red liked talking and did not mind the flowers.
Green hated dandelions. The appearing dandelions were why Green could never find work on a farm before. For the dandelions appeared when Green talked too. The people at Green’s hometown were quick to blame the dandelions and Green when crops were bad. So, Green stopped talking and started hating the small sticky loose weeds that seemed to follow Green’s steps.
When Green got the job working for the Farmer, Green did not tell the Farmer about the dandelions. Green was afraid of being kicked out again. So, Green settled on not talking. Hoping that this time, the dandelions would not follow. Green ignored Red’s constant talking, the harsh words that seemed to stick like the seeds of the dandelions Green hated. There was not a peep from Green when Red or the Farmer asked about Green’s hometown. Green was as silent as a mouse.
But Green was definitely not a country mouse. The people in Green’s hometown did not let Green farm. It was all new to Green. Working the hard soil, planting, harvesting, it was all new to Green. Green did not even know what to do with all of the thousands of tools presented by the Farmer. It was all a bit overwhelming for Green, but Green did not say one word about that. What if a dandelion popped up?
It was a hot summer’s day when Red and Green were working in the fields. Red was talking and talking, as Green banged and tried to till the hard soil that seemed to only get harder around Green. Then, right in front of Green a dandelion popped right out of the ground. Green froze, staring at the dandelion.
Red called out to Green. But Green did not move. In a huff, Red went over to Green, mumbling about Green being so fresh on a farm. Another dandelion popped up. This time Green jumped, right into Red. Red pushed Green off, chiding Green for being scared by a flower. Another dandelion. Green’s eyes grew wide and glanced between Red and the dandelions that kept popping with every other word Red spoke.
A sudden burning rage consumed Green. Green tackled Red, sending both to the ground, smashing the dandelions and sending their white seeds flying. Green finally spoke, only to yell at Red. Blaming Red for the haunting weeds and the tiresome job. Red yelled back, not knowing what else to do. Saying that Green’s problems were Green’s problem’s alone. That the dandelions were just small little flowers. The pain and destruction that those small white flowers caused Green was too much for Green to see them as harmless. Green’s anger grew, seemingly endless, as Green continued to yell at Red. Neither noticed the growing patch of dandelions around them that was consuming the field they were working on.
They did notice the heavy footsteps coming towards them. They froze as a long and wide shadow appeared over them. When the footsteps stopped, the shadow did not move. Red and Green looked to see the Farmer standing next to them, looking at them curiously. Quickly, Red and Green scrambled to get away from each other and blame the other. Red blamed Green’s bottled rage for the interruption of work. Green blamed Red for the appearing weeds. Both got into another argument.
The Farmer cleared his throat. Both farmhands froze and looked at the Farmer.
“I do not think one person caused all of this.” The Farmer gestured to the field around them. The field intended for planting the harvest, was now covered in dandelions, the soil under them feeling dryer than ever. Red and Green gaped at the sight.
“A spark,” the Farmer started, getting Red and Green’s attention. “Can seem small. Just like a word can seem like a harmless flower.” The Farmer picked up a dandelion. “But both only need the right environment and fuel to bloom into something far more dangerous.” The wind blew away the dandelion in the Farmer’s hand, and into the big long field that had no room to plant. Red looked down.
“And silence,” Green now looked at the Farmer. “Is wise in moderation. If one was silent as a fire started, do they not become apart of the flames themselves?” Green looked away from the Farmer, now more than ever, afraid to be kicked out.
In a desperate plea, Green admitted to everything. The growing dandelions, Green’s hometown, the silence, Green spoke about it all. Red, staying silent, heard it all. Red looked around and past the field. Red could see splotches of dandelions that soaked up the water from the soil. Splotches of dandelions where Red worked. When Green was done begging and crying, Red apologize to the Farmer and Green profusely, not knowing what the careless words did. Red just talked and talked, afraid of what silence would say.
As both cried in front of the Farmer, the Farmer listened. When they were done, the Farmer put a hand on each of their shoulder.
“Well, it seems that we have work to do.”
The Farmer smiled at them, and both smiled back, comforted by the Farmer’s words. Together, with the Farmer’s help, the dandelion field grew smaller and smaller each day. The soil became more fertile each day. Red and Green understood each other a bit more each day they worked together.
Red learned not to fear silence and let it speak. There was much Red did not know. Red thought not knowing would make the Farmer mad. But Red soon learned that the Farmer enjoyed helping out. The Farmer knew and loved the land more than Red ever could. For it was the Farmer’s land. So, Red went to the Farmer, seeking help and guidance about how to best take care of the Farmer’s land. Red had to admit, spending time with the Farmer was much better than talking.
Green was finally learning how to be a farmhand and enjoying it. The fear of being kicked out lessened day by day. Green spoke just a bit more day by day. The Farmer paid no mind, and Green learned that the Farmer also did not expect Green to talk as much as Red. The Farmer just wanted Green to be happy. To love the land as much as He did. Green was learning to do that. Some days were harder than others, but Green kept going. Not out of fear, but out of care for the Farmer who let Green live and work when no one else would. Dandelions still could pop up from Red and Green’s words. Every time one did, the Farmer was their helping Red and Green take care of the soil they damaged. And soon, after all of their hard vigilant work, there were no dandelions.