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God, roses and the end of the world

God, roses and the end of the world

Posted By Sunny Lockwood

During breakfast this morning, I was enthralled by two huge and beautiful roses that Sweetheart Al clipped yesterday and brought in to grace our table.


They were deep, rich pink, close to neon pink. One measured eight-inches in diameter. The other was slightly larger than six inches.


Their fragrance eased the crisp morning air blowing through from the window we couldn’t resist opening.


And their labyrinth of petals drew me further and further into meditation. Although the large, silky-smooth outer petals curled back as though they were stretching after a good night’s rest, there were so many other petals that my eyes could not find their way through the pink and graceful thicket to the core, the center of the blossom. Event my fingers could not make their way into the center of these living works of art.


So I just sat there in grateful observation.


The petals, large and wide or folded and rolled together, made the roses look like they were smiling. From another angle, they looked as if they were pursing their lips. Even though the crowd of fragrant petals were nothing but petals, as the morning light touched them, they took on an array of expressions:  sly, amused, shy, secretive, happy and enthusiastic.


How can a simple flower reveal so many personalities? How can color and the effortless curl of line display so many emotions?


Some might say that a rose is nothing but a rose, and that all I saw in the pink blossoms at my breakfast table, was merely a reflection of something in me, something I brought to the rose.


If that’s true, then clearly the rose is more than a flower in this instance. It is a mirror, disclosing thoughts or emotions I was not even aware of.  And if it is a mirror of something within me that even I am not aware of, it is powerful indeed.


Whatever explains the magic at the breakfast table this morning…I also thought about the people expecting a ripple of earthquakes today which will proclaim the end of the world.


For months I’ve been watching billboard warnings of the May 21st Judgment Day. And here we are: Saturday, May 21, 2011.


In another lifetime, I shared a faith that wove paranoia into every thread of the Christian tapestry. Instead of a cloak of love and reassurance, it burdened its members with apprehension and insecurity, wrapping entire lives in a prison of fear.


As I enjoyed the beauty of the roses this morning, I thought about those true believers who were praying with all their hearts that they may be among the “saved” when God’s judgment rains down on the wicked today.


I thought about the fear raging through them, and the hope-filled longing for God to set all things right.  


I thought about the sorrow and disappointment they will experience if the rapture does not happen today and if the beginning of the end does not start as they believe it will. What then for them? Will fear be replaced by cynicism or fury?


I cannot explain the glory of this morning’s roses.


Nor can I explain the insistence of Harold Camping who declares today the beginning of the end. He has figured out and announced what even Jesus, himself, said He didn’t know (check out Matthew 24:36).


I have no answers for any of this. Yet it all fascinates me.


Whether sharing breakfast with roses, or pondering the longing hearts of those who see the apocalypse in every earthly catastrophe, all I can say is:

I rest secure in a loving Almighty who created a world of endless beauty and mystery for me and all who share the earth as home. And whose first words when encountering humans, go something like this: “Fear not.”




Read more of my work at sunnylockwood.com

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