Living the Proverbs
I just had to pass this on ...

Roses On Our Noses

    First, I must credit Pastor Terri Purgason of Fresno First Baptist Church for inspiring these thoughts.

Next, I must decide what these thoughts my be.

Finally, I must type them, but not necessarily in that order.

Terri was straining to hear me in our pastor's cluster meeting today. That does not happen to me often. Perhaps she was trying to read my lips because she asked me to move the vase of roses that was sitting in front of me.

Now I've heard of rose colored glasses obscuring the truth, but these were real, home-grown, mother-in-law nurtured, picked, and arranged roses - and they were blocking my words.

"It's hard to hear you through the roses."

That's what she said and it immediately rang poetic in my ears.

This is going to require some thought. Generally, if people can't hear me, the obstructions are not so sweet and attractive. I have been known to get in my own way - not so rosy. Nor is my ego pleasantly fragrant, though similarly effective. Frankly it stinks. But roses?

You can plant roses almost anywhere assuming all other conditions are conducive to their growth. Roses can cover  numerous eyesores and perfume unpleasant odors.

Most biblical references to "rose" are the past tense of "rise."

An exception would be the Rose of Sharon from the Song of Solomon. Isaiah notes that even Sharon would waste away.

So here I am, loud mouthed man that I am, unable to be heard through a vase of roses - lovely, sweet roses.

In fact, from the moment guests began to take their seats at the lunch table, the roses started moving much as the menus in a Denny's move when I want to see the person behind them. There was no disrespect intended and no offense received. They were beautiful (the roses not the menus), but they were in the way. In order to appreciate what we were present for, we needed to see the people with whom we were meeting. In order to fully receive their words, we needed to see them.

I do appreciate the roses; they just needed some adjustment for the sake of conversation.

I want to see the person.

I want to see you.

Stop hiding behind flowery language, hyperbole, and posturing. Let me see you, smell you, and hear you as you are. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139) and uniquely beautiful without decoration or obscuration.

I will be reflecting on this in the days to come - reflecting, refining, and rewriting - but I needed to get started. There are so many applications of this truth. It really is a problem for many people. We just can't hear through all the roses.