Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Withered on the Vine

In "life before children," my husband would bring me roses to celebrate each monthly "anniversary."

A sucker for flowers, I tried everything to be able to enjoy them for as long as I could. Alas, no matter what I did, I was only prolonging the inevitable.

Tap or bottled water. Plant food or not. Carefully cutting 1" off the stems or just shoving them in a vase: they would still wither and die.

As part of their dying process, most roses open wide in full-blossom, then drop their petals. Gravity presses down, and one by one, they relinquish their connection and fall, breaking free from the source that birthed and nourished them.

Presently, a potted rose on my front porch defies what I've learned about roses.

Several weeks ago, a blossom opened--crimson red and filling the immediate air around it with that sweet aroma unique to old roses.

Knowing how my children love flowers, too, I expected to find evidence of a snatch-and-grab any day.

Yes, I have witnessed several grubby hands (and snotty noses) snatch and grab and smell. And yes, each day, my oblivious children crash their riding toys into the rose's pot.

I've watched the vine shake violently with each car accident, repeatedly smashing the fully-opened rose into the concrete beneath it. Yet, despite their best (or worst) efforts, here I am weeks later and each petal has stayed firmly attached to its source.

This particular blossom has now been on the vine so long that it has started to show signs of age--once smooth, youthful petals are drying up into shriveled, crunchy shells of their former selves...all while still attached to the vine.

Such a compelling image...

No matter how many times life crashes into me or grabs me a little too roughly, I want to stay firmly attached to the One who created and sustains me.

I want to wither on the vine.


  1. Lovely! That rose looks like it belongs right here on this blog, along with the beautiful words as a heavenly accompaniment...