I took this picture of dandelions in our local churchyard. Earlier in the year this space was occupied by crocuses, all purple and planted in serried ranks.

Most gardeners like crocuses but dislike dandelions, taking particular exception to them when they spring up unbidden on their lawns. They are sturdy flowers with a highly succesful method of disseminating themselves on the wind. And since they are so succesful and so difficult to eliminate, they are classified as weeds. And this is where I hit a problem of theology, not confined to those dandelions I discover in churchyards.

I have often heard it said that God cteated all living things. For those who take this view, it follows that God must have created dandelions (not to mention mosquitoes and viruses). In which case I cannot accept that God created weeds. And what is the point in God creating them only to find gardeners trying to exterminate them with chemical weed killers? Instead of attacking them, gardeners of faith must surely accept this wonderful gift from God with a good heart.

Moving on from the plant to the animal kingdom, exactly the same problem arises with animals categorised as vermin such as rats and foxes. Are we really to believe that God created vermin?

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