The first spring blooming of the roses in my garden is a welcome sight.
Nothing looks more dead than a rose bush in the winter months. The uneducated eye sees only thorny branches that are evidently dead. But the gardener knows that within a few weeks signs of life will appear as new shoots of green emerge. Then within a very short time there will be buds that bloom into a mass of colour and perfume. Nothing is more glorious and generous than a rose bush from spring, throughout the summer season, and into autumn.
The Christian knows that the earthly experience of human death is not an ending. Instead death is but a rhythm in the journey of life, a transition into the ultimate experience of abundant and eternal life. Jesus has shown us this way in his suffering, death and resurrection (the Paschal Mystery), and evidence of this truth surrounds us in the pattern of death to life in the seasons of nature.
I’m about to make a mid-morning coffee and sit with the roses, just to remind myself that the bits of my life that look dead and feel battered by wintry winds, are simply the circumstances within which God is working with me to bring me to more maturity of faith, and therefore to greater abundance of life.
“Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love
In the spring becomes the rose.”