Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Old Rose

My Valentine's Day flowers are perky with life. Fresh stems stand tall, blossoming flowers drink in moisture and gradually bloom. Buds are gently nestled, slowly awakening to purpose. The bright colors and aroma offer a colorful welcome to passers by.
Photo by Sandra

While arranging the flowers in a vase I discovered a small dying rose. It was wilted, broken, starting to decay. After the unexpected, unsettling find, I began to enjoy the old rose.

There is poignancy and power to beauty nearly spent. A remnant of what once was flourishing has a faded grandeur to it. The rose flowers with beauty and purpose, but it must go to seed and die to bloom again.

Life rises from death. Youth passes us by, but we are so often blind to what we are gaining. God offers beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, a mantle of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

One of my childhood friends left earth this week to live with Jesus. I have wrestled with the pain and disappointment her loss brings to the world. She shined brightly like the stars of the universe. Her faith walk made a difference in the lives around her.

We see death as an enemy, and so it is, but there is beauty in her victory. She leaves a blessing of grace as her legacy. She flourished in life, planting seeds of gentle reminders and loving people to Jesus. So also in death, she leaves seeds of gentle reminders and continues to love people to Jesus.

There is regal purpose in her victory. Beauty rises from ashes. Pain stirs memories and causes us to seek hope. Loss awakens determined endurance. Grief gives opportunity for growth and wisdom. God's comfort spurs us on to compassion.

Life rises from death. Beauty rises from ashes. Youth passes us by, but we are so often blind to what we are gaining. Open my eyes. Let faith arise.

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