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Monday, 31 July 2017


Two roses grown in the same bed. One is strong, towering over the others: Buxom Beauty. One is dainty and fragile, Ruby Anniversary. Both are beautiful. Both are intoxicatingly fragrant. 

Buxom Beauty is the doyenne of the rose bed, having put her roots down and established her presence about ten years ago. She stands regal and proud at one end, soaking up the admiring glances and the sunshine. Ruby Anniversary is two years old, squashed in and almost forgotten at the back, overshadowed by a prolific pink floribunda and dwarfed by a bush boasting a profusion of yellow blooms and another with white flowers with pink tinted edges. Ruby Anniversary doesn’t stand a chance where she is. This autumn I plan to transplant her to a more open space, perhaps beside Buxom Beauty but this time out of the shadows so that she, too, can soak up the sun and let the wind rustle her leaves more freely. Hopefully that will work. Watch this space, over the next year or two!

Buxom Beauties are all around, soaking in the adulation and responding to compliments by growing ever more stunning. Behind them, though, in the shadows, are equally-exquisite people, self-esteem bruised perhaps and spirits fragile or even broken, needing the food of encouragement and love. 

Jesus celebrated the bruised and the broken when he declared that the poor in spirit, the bereaved, the meek, and the hungry merit his special attention: he welcomes them into his embrace and blesses them all into the Kingdom – through us. 

Where are the wounded souls in my life today, needing that tender touch, that gentle attention and to be brought out into the wide open spaces of God’s sunshine and warmth? My 93-year-old mother always ends our phone calls saying, ‘Know that I love you’. 

Know today that Jesus loves you.

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