Monday, April 24, 2017

Embellishments or Thorns?




There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion," said he, leaning with his back against the shutters. "It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its colour are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.”
 The Adventures of the Naval Treaty Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

After owning and managing a flower shop for ten years, flowers were not an embellishment to my life. They were a means to an end and represented the stress that accompanies small business ownership. I did not see beautiful blooms or notice their sweet fragrance. They represented hours of standing ankle deep in floral debris creating Something Spectacular while answering phones, taking orders, organizing deliveries, and assisting walk in customers. When the holidays ended, I did not want to celebrate anything except the chance to shower and go to bed.

I have been out of the floral business for eleven years and now have the benefit of hindsight. While working in the shop I was surrounded with beauty, but I saw mostly thorns. I failed to understand that the blossoms are much larger than the thorns, and if we stand in the right position – in faith and trust in Him – we won't see the thorns at all.

But should one poke me, God will either heal me, or give me the strength to bear the pain. Either way, I gain hope from the flowers, sunrises, sunsets, spring rains, rainbows, birdsong, blue skies, and green trees, all of God's miraculous embellishments. 

Jesus said as much in His Sermon on the Mount, “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these. Now, if God clothe in this manner the grass that is to-day in the field and to-morrow is cast into the oven: how much more you, O ye of little faith?” Luke 12:27-28