The thistle and weed patch that was our “lawn” has been roto-tilled, the top layer of thistles with roots cleared away, gopher mesh installed, and several inches of top soil added. Sod now lies like an Irish green field. Gorgeous! So pristine!
A few days later, I spotted a mound of dirt on the edge of our new lawn. On closer inspection, I spotted four more mounds along the concrete edge next to the berm. Ack! Is it a gopher or a mole? Does it matter?! Thoughts of “Caddy Shack” and dynamite crossed my mind. A friend told me her husband used a shot gun down a tunnel. The mole moved to the house next door and down the street. My friend hasn’t seen a mound in her two lawns for over thirty years, probably because each successive critter generation passed down the message: Don’t go there! They’ll shoot you!
“Do not make a mountain out of a mole hill,” someone said centuries ago. Obviously, they didn’t pay for a sod lawn. Moles (and gophers) are territorial, aggressively so. Which means there is only one boar or sow tunneling down under our gopher mesh, grabbing up earthworms with his/her poly-dactyl fore-paws and shuttling them to the larder to store for future meals. We also have a gopher in the front lawn. Down go the new plants in front and veggies in the side yard. The front lawn has no gopher mesh, so mounds are hither and yon.
Did you know one mole or gopher can tunnel under a concrete driveway and put up mounds in several lawns? They certainly have a good work ethic!
Moles and gophers are unseen, underground destroyers, tunneling beneath something beautiful and pulling down the good things into darkness. I have seen this happen in churches. Whispered rumors, assumptions, mistaken information spread as true. Just as gophers take what is good and leave weeds behind, people can be left with a root of bitterness that grows and spreads, choking out joy, kindness, compassion, wisdom, forgiveness.
We hired a gopher guy. He set traps inside the mole and gopher tunnels. Like people, these little animals are curious. They came to investigate. Snap! The underground trap killed them instantly. Adam also gave me good advice. “Plant creeping rosemary and lavender on the perimeters. Gophers hate the smell.” And, “Tell your landscapers to see a lawn as a bowl. Make sure the gopher mesh goes up on the sides, then sandwiched and held down by metal stripping.”
And I thought, oh, Lord, may we plant thought patterns and habits that bring out the scent of Christ and keep the enemy away. May we think of our church family members being held in the scarred and cupped hands of Jesus Christ, our Savior whether they sit in one church or another. May we always allow His love to rule.