It’s the rose bush that the gardner has pruned, that blooms the fullest…….
Or, so I think.
This summer I began walking at lunch. It became my therapy time – it was 20-30 minutes to escape and breathe. The day I noticed the rose garden, it was not due to the sheer abundance of roses, but the aroma that was wafting through the air. As I hustled over to the small (yet massive) garden, my spirits lifted. Oh! How I adore roses. The garden had been planted by the adjoining church for the Hope Chest – a center for cancer patients. (Which, on a side note, is an amazing center that does tremendous acts of kindness for those affected by cancer. Look it up!)
So began my obsession. I believe I took pictures of the roses everyday. Each one was different, reminding me of little things (like fairies) or bigger things (like Papa’s love for me). If it was not raining, I was taking pictures.
One day I finally met the gardner. It just so happens that he was my pediatrician, as well as my children’s! I spoke to him about how beautiful they were, and how each type of rose was amazing in it’s own way. He and another gardner teased me about the pictures, but this soon paid off. At the end of the season, when the concern of frost was just too great, the gardner began to prune. My luck (providence) was that I was walking just at that moment! I was given my own beautiful bouquet of ornate roses. . .
I still walk when it is not too cold or nasty out. Today was gorgeous, so I slipped out at lunch to soak up some sun. As I came down the small hill, I saw the garden – bare – just long prickly sticks jutting from the earth. I could not help but walk to it. I was drawn by a need to remember. To remember the joy the blooms brought to me, the way the scent warmed me, the way my mind and eyes converted tangible beauty into soul satisfying truth……
Then, I saw it. Not just a little green, but an overwhelming amount of strong, green stems coming to life. I pulled out my phone and began to snap pictures. That is when it happened. It was as if He was standing right beside me, as I heard Papa say ” The gardner pruned these lovelies, now look at the new growth. Remind you of anything?” I sighed. I knew what life lesson I was learning. . .
It has been rough these past few weeks. Truthfully, the last few years have been horrid. Recently, however, I have felt the sting of disappointment more so than usual. Everyday I say “I just want something good to happen today”. People and items have been removed mentally and physically from me and from my family. I struggle with the war that rages in my mind. I struggle with insecurity, unrest, health issues, and above all else – people. People who I trusted, people who I cared for, people I thought I needed. Today though, I saw why I have endured some pain. The pruning that is being done is to allow for a regrowth. A …… revitalization of sorts.
I still cried tonight. I still ache with anticipation for good news, good days, and happy nights. Yet…… When I laid in the bathtub – sobbing as the worship music played – Papa reminded me of those precious rose bushes. He reminded me that He is the Gardner of my life. He has planted me, fed me, watered me, admired me….and pruned me. Each step, each season, each calculated snip is His plan, His desire, and ultimately HIS gain. Because, my Papa? He loves to see me grow and bloom!