For the majority of my life, I’ve been a pretty hopeless stick in the mud. This made me extremely popular among the church-going, elderly folk who would always praise my parents on their child-rearing skills: “You have it figured out, you sure do. Such well behaved children you have! How do you do it?” (By calling my brother and I ‘well-behaved’, what they really meant was ‘terrified lumps of goo that didn’t dare upset the delicate balance of parental sanity by engaging in typical childish sedition’. Potato, potahto.) As I grew older, and by older I mean a freshman in college, I finally rebelled. Years of resentment at being the good girl fueled my mutiny as I strongly insisted to my parents that it was ok to go bowling with friends on a friday night and stay out until the ungodly hour of 10pm. I was, after all, a full time student with a full time job and I’ll be damned if I won’t be allowed to waste $10 on used shoes and greasy pizza in the company of my youth group companions! That’s right. I said it. And when Dad said no, I totally acted pissed off and would NOT participate in family devotions that night. Take that, Mr. Man.

I guess the reason I never really went ape-shit as a kid was my good ole protestant sense of guilt. Don’t want to finish your dinner? Stole some nickel candy from the grocery store? Forged your parents’ signature on your test because you couldn’t admit to them that you got a B? God’s kicked people out of heaven for less. Better fess up or you’ll be millennial kindling. As an adult, thankfully, I’ve realized life is more complex than that. There are times when it seems that to do wrong is the only right option.

Take these guys, for instance. They call themselves Guerrilla Gardeners. Basically their passion in life is to sneak around the city at night, armed only with shrubs and shovels, and give a little love to forgotten patches of land. Technically, their behavior is illegal since they do not own the land they are planting neither do they gain permission before they plant. Yet there seems to be something intrinsically right about their illicit hobby. Is it not wrong to neglect and/or abuse the land we live on? Is it not right to care for the powerless, even if the powerless is a patch of dirt? I believe somewhere in my guilt-riddled theological education I heard it said that Good People ought to do the right thing even if it seemed wrong to everyone else. Father Abraham taught us that…though technically he didn’t complete his wrong-headed murder in the name of YHWH cause the ram who lost his way stepped in to save the day but still…it’s the thought that counts. Plus there’s that whole “care for the earth” bit in Genesis that we tend to forget in favor of the “have dominion” translation. But I digress. You should really check these guys out. Kinda makes me wanna grab a shrubbery and start a little rebellion of my own. Who’s with me?!

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