Bitter Root

See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:15

Finally I couldn’t stand looking at it anymore. Everytime I went out the door, the plant would catch my eye. And everytime it seemed bigger than the last time I looked at it.

The oyster plant is not a weed. It does “volunteer”, however. All over the place. It spreads and multiplies in concrete cracks, grass, about anywhere. The top sides of the leaves are long, green blades, the undersides purple. Small white flowers form around the stalk, encased in reddish pouches. They are tough as nails and can root practically from anything. Sometimes even a broken leaf.

So I twisted over and reached down to yank it out by the root, but only the top came off in my grip. I reached back in and pulled harder, still got just a few more leaves. Firmly stuck down in the sandy dirt, squeezed behind a piece of roof tile, it held its ground. Literally.

I thought, “If that root stays there, there will be a lot more of these before you know it!”

That’s the whole thing about roots. If you get most, or all, of the plant out, but not the root, you haven’t accomplished anything really. It will come back……and come back….and spread.

I’ve heard caution about harboring a “bitter root”. It is dangerous. I looked up the verses for “bitter root” in the bible, and found two. They certainly are giving me something to ponder. Any way you cut it, it looks like a not-good thing to have a bitter root.

Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the Lord our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison. Deuteronomy 29:18

Sally Kennedy

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