Feb. 1, 2016

Roses, Spider Mites, Memorials and Light

“That which God said to the rose,

And caused it to laugh in full-blown beauty,

He said to my heart,

And made it a hundred times more beautiful.” Rumi

Once in a while we meet someone who has a truly beautiful heart. The world is a poorer place when that person leaves us. We went to the memorial service for a delightful woman, Linda Butler, who was one of those people. Linda was funny. Kind. Loyal. Loved God with all her heart. Loved her friends, who loved her back. She sang alto in the choir and I kind of felt looking at them yesterday that her seat should have been left vacant. Her memorial was filled with funny stories, joyful times, good music, and faithfulness was woven through it all. Her friend, Debbie Martin, spoke of splendid adventures with Linda. Those girls really got around! At the end, we all sang one of Linda’s favorite songs:

“Did anybody tell you, “I love you” today? Did anybody tell you, “I love you” today? Did anybody tell you, “I love you” today? Put me on your list, let me be the first “I love you” today. God loves you and I love you and that’s how it should be. God loves you and I love you and that’s how it should be....Put me on your list, let me be the first “I love you” today!”

I had been pruning roses before Linda’s memorial. One of those things where one sets out to do one rose tree but then the other five in that area are calling, “but what about me!!” so one keeps going. Actually, I had only planned to get citrus food on the orange and grapefruit trees because the rain was coming. Yes, indeed, we were going to have actual rain last Sunday, and we did! I figured if I could get the citrus food down that the rain would really water it in. Then the roses sang their siren song.

This time of year is when we are supposed to cut them back severely, the roses that is, and be sure to remove every single one of last year’s leaves as leaving them on will promote disease and disaster, which to me means spider mites. Those invisible little stinkers make me crazy! The rose looks great and next thing you know its leaves are all brown and shriveled and it’s already too late. I wonder sometimes if God feels that way about me. He’s pruned me, fed me, watered me, and those little stinkers of bad attitude, anger, unforgiveness, unkindness, show up anyway.

I only got moderately filthy doing the roses but did get the quarter cup of Epsom salts raked in around their roots and some rose food, too.

Daffodils and Dutch Iris are putting up spikes and soon there will be blooms galore. Even though it’s just the first of February, and we have El Nino yet to deal with, Spring is coming.

I visualize heaven as a place of perpetual Spring, where flowers bloom constantly, and “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Rev. 21:4

No spider mites either.

“The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.” Rev. 21:23