WHERE no wood is, there the fire goeth out:

so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceases.

(Proverbs 26:20)

Down on hands and knees, my husband Plaford and I were gouging at the patches of plantain that were marring our lawn.  Thrust up from the center of each plantain were spikes beaded with seeds that, if we weren’t careful, could scatter and produce weeds by the thousands.

To pass the time, I asked,  “Say, did you hear about George Ade?”

“No,”  Plaford said, cautiously.

“Well,” I said “if you can trust what I heard last night from…”

“Zona!”  Plaford said.  “It sounds like gossip to me, and I just don’t want to hear it.”

After a short silence Plaford said,  “Instead, let me tell you a story about my grandmother and her brother.  They had seen their Dad broadcast grass seed in a pasture, and they longed to do this ‘grown-up’ thing.  They searched another field for seeds and found spikes of plantain for their source.

“They seeded two acres,” Plaford continued, “before they were found out.  And it took two generations working with spade, hoe and hands to undo what they had done in a few minutes.”

Plaford paused.  “Get it?”  he asked with a kind smile.

I got it.

Father, God, give me the integrity to weed gossip from my life and grant me the human kindness to discover and broadcast good news about those I know.

                                                                                                                                                          Zona B. Davis


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