One day when I was young, I went walking and came upon a beautiful field of flowers. There were all types and colors, all so lovely to look upon.
One particular flower, a striking red rose, stood out to me in all her loveliness. I began to show special attention to this wonder of nature and started watering her, wooing her unto myself. I felt a voice saying within myself, “This is the one you will spend the rest of your life with.”
Soon it seemed like she responded, and I picked her and took her home with me, placing her in the best spot in our home. Every evening I would caress her beauty, and every morning kiss her sweetness. Her aroma filled my life with joy and happiness.
Our friends would visit and remark of her sweetness, which she ministered to everyone who knew her; she exuded a sweetness that indeed ministered to those with whom she came in contact. As time went on, I took her everywhere and her sweet aroma and beauty would lift up everyone she became acquainted with.
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As years went by, an illness began to manifest itself within my beautiful rose. We called upon God, I took her to treatments, got her prescriptions, but everything that could be done only bought her a little more time.
Last April 13th, my beautiful rose succumbed. The loneliness was overwhelming. The empty house, the silence, her things still where she left them — it was almost all that I could take in.
Though the illness (cancer) lasted a while, it still seemed like it was so short a time with her at the last. All sorts of things go through your mind like, “Did I do everything I could? Did I say enough to encourage her? Did she really know how much I loved her?”
The most important relationship that is bringing me through this loss is the beauty of another rose; the Bible calls him “The Rose of Sharon.” I accepted this rose into my life at the young age of twelve, and his life-giving fragrance has filled my life with peace and joy ever since.
My rose (whose real name is Vee) knew him also. Without the Rose of Sharon (Christ) in my life, I don’t think I could have held up under such loss as my beautiful rose.
Vee and I sang and ministered together for 54 years before God wanted her in his garden of love. I know I will see my rose again in that heavenly realm someday.
If you have gone or are going through such a loss or any type of hardship, I recommend The Rose of Sharon (Christ) to you. You do not have to go it alone; he is indeed “a very present help in time of trouble” (Psalm 46:1) and “a friend that sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
Please don’t hesitate. Ask him for his help today. (John 3:16)
Rev. Duane Farris is Lay Minister and Musician at Faith Assembly Christian Center in Pasco. Questions and comments should be directed to editor Lucy Luginbill in care of the Tri-City Herald newsroom, 333 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick, WA 99336. Or email email@example.com.