It is hard for me to believe this now; but, there was a time when I did not like roses. They were not a flower I hated – I just didn’t like them. My heart softened towards them when my husband was dating me, before our marriage.
He would bring me a rose with a note. That helped me take a liking to them. But still, I preferred flowers like sweet peas that produced fragrant blooms all summer if I kept picking them. My impression of roses was mainly based on the usually scent-free ones that florists sold.
Another bad impression was seeing a display of roses at a town library. They were all grouped together in rigid symmetry with some climbing on what I considered to be a cold looking metal arbor.
Shortly after disliking the library rose garden, we bought our first home. It looked like an English cottage dropped into the middle of a suburb. People would smile at it, as they passed by, like you would if you had seen a flower blooming in the middle of a parking lot. We fell in love with it the moment we first saw it.
Imagine my concern to find several rose bushes in the front and back garden. They were the prickly kind that seem to know my attitude towards them. At least until one evening, when the front one, visible from my favorite chair, caught the sunset in its petals. I walked out the front door and down the sidewalk a few steps to get a closer look. This rose was not only captivating – but it had a heavenly fragrance!
We don’t live there anymore, since that was over 20 years ago. But the memory of the rose that won my heart has stayed with me. Now, when I care for my garden; the roses get my love and attention. If any plant gets dead headed or mulched or fed or watered first – it’s my roses!
I have something, even harder to believe, to share with you. There was a time over 30 years ago when I didn’t really like God. I didn’t hate him; I just didn’t really like him. Like the library rose garden I had not really got up close to him to see if he was prickly or not. His beauty was not yet visible to my blind eyes.
One day, I noticed his light reflecting off a believing friend of mine. Just as the sunset revealed the rose’s exquisiteness; my friend’s eyes displayed the love and majesty of the Lord. And I stepped in closer to have a look. Sure enough, I discovered a glorious God who loves me. Besides, anyone who can create such awesome flowers, as roses, must be a God after my own heart.
What do you think the rose gardens in heaven will be like? I just got goosebumps typing that!
Loving God and his roses,
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31: 30
Note: All these rose pictures I took of the rose-bush by our back door. It is a lot like the rose from our first house in Victoria, BC. It is fragrant and usually blooms twice. Our present house looks like a cottage, too! Remember to stop and smell the roses…