Two little roses still cling to their stems outside my kitchen window. I have watched as the buds appeared and wondered how far they would get before the cold of a Canadian December would discourage them, and they would shrivel and die.
There was a chill in the air this week as the thermometer dipped below zero. The snow started falling, blanketing my garden, but the two brave roses are still holding on.
Their faces droop a bit from the weight of the snow, and they seem to be huddling closer together. They don't have the fresh vigor they once had, but even in their old age, their endurance adds brightness to my life as I look out my window.
They catch my eye. There is a sameness to most of the scenery all around, a white wilderness, but my roses are a deep red. they are a stark contrast to all their surroundings.
There are two more roses down the lane from me. They are in the winter of their lives. She has suffered a stroke and has become partly paralysed. He leans close to her. But I have watched as these roses fight to remain a sweet blessing to the community. They continue to pray for the people in the neighborhood. They write cards and pass them out to others along the lane. Their cheerfulness and determination in the face of adversity brighten my life and give me an example to follow.
Sometimes I even see myself and my husband in those two shrivelled and drooping roses. We are experiencing winter now, too. Some nasty storms have beaten us and yet we hang on. We peek out from under the weight of the snow and try to send a smile to someone else who needs a blessing. And maybe, just maybe, someone will be looking out the window of their soul and will see us, and in spite of our withered state, will see beauty in the contrast of our existence, and will be cheered.
Lord, I pray, let me be one of your roses as I face the winter of my life.