A reflection by Christine Cox
(Evangelism Enabler at St Mary-at-Latton, Harlow)
based on Luke 12:24
Have you ever looked at a rose; really looked at it as it progresses from bud, to fully open flower? At first the bud is tight, covered in a green skin, it is impossible to tell what colour it will be or how big, or if it will have a scent. Then, with the warmth of the sun, the green case begins to crack and glimpses of colour show through. The green retreats, and a tight coloured bud is revealed, the layers of petals are wrapped tight on one another and the full beauty of the flower remains hidden. Then as the sun continues to encourage, the petals start to unfurl, and the rose is revealed in its full beauty, some with deep yellow stamens at their heart, and they suffuse the air around them with their rich scent.
It could be a parallel with us, and what we can become if we stay close to the warming love of God. We start as unpromising buds, wrapped tight in the covering of what we show to the world. Then slowly as we start to develop our relationship with God, the mask starts to crack and glimpses of what we can be begin to show through. If we continue searching for the knowledge of God, through prayer and study we start to show more of our true selves, the people that God created us to be, we start to show the beauty of a life lived in God’s way. As we grow and learn, we continue to open, to show the full beauty of our creator, and suffusing all those around us with the beauty and scent of God’s love.
But as with a rose there are things that can prevent us from developing into the flower that God wants us to be. There are the pests, the cares of the world, the diversions and concerns, fears, and influence from others that block us from drawing close to God. There are times when we really have to focus on the love of God for us, and cling on close. It is not easy, we feel dry and shrivelled, we cannot bloom. But God continues to love us, he freely offers the water and nourishment that we need. At times, it seems that our very wretchedness gives Him the opening to help us to grow. So, considering the lily of the field, we can be certain, that no matter what the situation, God’s love will continue to draw us closer to Him and we will become the people that He wants us to be.