Dirty Little Secrets

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:31‬


I was checking on my plant babies after a gentle rain this evening when I spotted an anomaly – two large leaves all curled up.

Curious, I tugged gently on the leaf nearest to me, unwrapping it to see what was going on. It seemed to be glued shut with some sort of white webbing.


I knew before I found the culprit I was dealing with some sort of worm.

What I didn’t know was that said worm would have left me a lovely pile of poo in its little leafy house as a calling card.

As I said earlier, disgusting.

If I hadn’t been diligently checking on my garden, I would have missed them altogether. And while it would have been easier on my eyes and mind in the short term to just ignore the problem, in the long term it would have meant the worms would have finished their life cycle unnoticed, become adults, and laid who know how many eggs in the garden, creating who knows how many more piles of poo in my pretty plants.

As hard as it was to face the fact of their presence, that would have been worse.

Forewarned is forearmed, as they say. Now I know that whatever this critter is, it likes my rudbeckia. I know what to expect if and when I see other leaves suspiciously curled up. I’m onto them.

Their dirty little secret is out.

And exposed, I can take decisive action and squish the intruders with no mercy.


Perhaps this is what the Apostle Paul had in mind when he penned this verse to his friends in the church at Ephesus.

Consider this list as one worm each rolled into a separate leaf – bitterness. Anger. Harsh words. Slander. These are listed before the generic term ‘evil behaviour’. And it’s curious, don’t you think? I mean, slander? Is that really so bad? Harsh words? Really?

But here’s the thing.

One worm, no biggie. One wee pile of poo hidden away in a secret place, who’s to know?

The trouble is, one secret worm, one dirty little secret pile of poo ‘grows up’. It lays eggs, so to speak. It spreads. It starts cropping up all over the place and making what was once a beautiful garden into a disastrous sewage pit.

I know, I know. It stinks.

(See what I did there?)

But seriously. It stinks to need to be so diligent. It takes energy and will power and a proactive stance. It’s hard to root out the small stuff that crops up just because we are human.

But better one worm to squish now than a thousand later on when the damage is done and the habit has become ingrained.


We make the rounds. We watch for trouble areas. We squash the bad habits and attitudes and thought processes that need nipping in the bud before they become full-grown.

And we keep our heart gardens beautiful and poo-free.

Do a regular check-in walk with me?

Father, it’s easy to dismiss a small bad habit as innocent. Remind us of how ugly even the small sins are, how much damage they can cause us long term, and how much beauty they can rob us of. Help us to have the energy and spirit to recognize and root out the dirty little secrets in our lives before they multiply. Amen.

Published by melodylowes

I am actually a bit of a mess. But in the mess, I’m finding security in knowing I am chosen, I am forgiven, and I matter. After uncovering a history of abuse in my past, I have done a lot of healing - and writing is one way I can invite you deeper into your own healing journey! I write devotionals about the complicated thing called life at growing-in-grace.ca, and my poetry is stashed at melodylowes.com. Pull up a chair and a coffee or tea and let's grow together!

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