Tuesday, November 2, 2010

If I had a Rose Bush...

OK, so who likes to recover from surgery?  Yeah, not me.  So not me.
It’s not so much the healing of the body I don’t like, it’s the healing of the spirit.
I find I get down -- a lot -- while waiting to recover.  Because while recovering, there are so many limitations.  “Don’t drive.  Don’t lift anything.  Don’t do your usual things.”   That equates to, “Don’t be.”  Well, that’s no fun.
So instead, that leaves me to watch my Mom do 20 loads of laundry in a day and watch my Dad spend more time in his car with my kids than on my couch with a cup of coffee.   Pain is not a sore abdomen, but rather, pain is feeling useless.
And the funny thing is -- I know this feeling very well.  It was something I experienced long before I ever had my first surgery.
For years, I had a heart that wanted to serve, to help others.  But I didn’t know where.  So I never did.  And my heart ached.  It felt hollow.  It was like one of those chocolate Easter bunnies.   You bite off that thick, long chocolate ear only to find there’s nothing inside of it.  That was me.
Looking back, I always felt a natural high when I was able to surprise a hurting friend with a jar full of garden flowers on her front porch -- a favorite past-time of mine.  I love making a friend feel better.  And if I analyze that, I think it’s because giving of oneself to another enables us to feel closer to Jesus.   If He had a mason jar, some ribbon and a few roses, He would have placed them on his friends’ doorsteps too.  It’s sharing love, it’s sharing kindness.  It’s sharing Jesus.
So how do you share Jesus?  
Just last week I read an article about a Mom whose daughter wanted to go on a missions trip, but the family couldn’t afford to send her.  So the Mom had an idea of hosting a garden tour and giving her daughter the money she raised from inviting friends and neighbors over to take a peek at her garden.   She raised enough money to fulfill her daughter's dream.  The following year, the daughter wanted to return, but needed to raise the money again.  So the Mom hosted another garden tour and was able to pay for her trip once more.  The third year, her daughter wanted to return, but this time, she had enough money to send herself.  So the Mom said to God, “Now what am I to do?”  
The Mom prayed about it and felt led to begin her first annual garden faire.  She asked all of her Christian girlfriends to act as docents, her husband parked all of the incoming cars and she made little wooden signs bearing beautiful scriptures to sprinkle throughout her garden.  She was basically sharing her faith through her beautiful 14-acre garden.  
After I read that article, I said to my Mom, “Well, if I had a 14-acre garden, I’d do the same thing.”
And then I caught myself as the words were coming out of my mouth.  “If I had a 14-acre garden.....”
That’s when I realized, you don’t need a 14-acre garden to share your faith.  All you need is a rose bush.  If we all waited until we had 140 rose bushes on 14 acres of land, we’d be waiting and wasting so many opportunities of sharing God’s love with others.   
What do you have to share?  Do you have a rose bush?  Do you have a paintbrush?  Do you have a spoon?  Do you have a hand?

All it takes is one of something to reach many...and to no longer feel useless.


  1. Ruthie!!!!!!!!! SO great to hear from you again!! And "hear from you" we DID!

    Oh what a post this was!!!

    I relate to you so much, as we are both "word picture" people as we relate truths.

    You DO have the equivalent of the 14 acre garden... with all you are always doing to reach out to others, your "garden" has FAR surpassed 14 acres, hon. Far surpassed.

    With every package you send out, with every email you write checking on someone, with every blog post you do, it is a "rose" blooming in your garden and then given as a fragrant offering to another.

    You. sweet girl, are a gardener extraordinaire.


  2. “We may pass violets looking for roses. We may pass contentment looking for victory.”

    You're right Ruthie, it doesn't take much to reach out with love and find contentment, especially if you measure your expectations properly. Listen to Ruth's comment...I think she's pointing out that if anyone knows and sees you at all, they feel like they're gazing upon a 14 acre garden. So, even though you may feel like a fragile rose that's weathered a storm and you have little to offer, I think you'll find that your care and love of others until now will allow you a rest. Allow yourself a rest. You may want to lower your expectations just for today, and smell the pretty violets. Then when you get back to the roses, they'll be more amazing then ever.