Sunset, a rare respite at day’s end…and this profusion of roses outside my living room window.
When did these beauties begin to bloom, looking for all the world as if it is Spring instead of mid-Winter...as if some loving gardener has been tenderly caring for them all along?
I‘ve done nothing to those persnickety bushes for months. Head buried in books, I barely remember Joe asking me what to do with their spindly branches spread out in awkward array. Lop them off, I said, never noticing if he did or not.
But here --this feast for the senses in an otherwise barren landscape.
So I try to capture their glory, but the camera cannot lie...
Signs of neglect sideline me...beetle-infested leaves, the yellow of blight, powdery mold, and the ubiquitous aphids, staking their claim.
But still...roses bloom.
Goldenrod and cranberry, buttercup and bridal white...ivory tinged with the barest blush of pink.
I cannot help but think of my own soul...of the signs of neglect that have plagued my waking moments this week, these first days of a new year...
Embarrassed at my lack, I've perused the perils of emptiness, tasted the angst of aridity and absorbed the shame of a seemingly unfruitful season.
I remember the word You spoke to me so long ago. I always work in spite of you...and I always will.
Because of who He is...
This is the lesson, isn't it Lord?
What do you have that you did not receive?
...power is perfected in weakness.
But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus...
For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.
(1 Corinthians 4:7, 12:9, 1:30, Romans 11:36)
Not because of who I am, or what I do, or how spiritual I can be, or how hard I try, or how much fruit there is to be measured, or how impressed anyone else may or may not be...
But because of who You are.
Because of who You are...abandoned roses bloom, and treasures emerge from the soil of neglected souls, testaments to Your sovereign power and ineffable grace.