Wild roses: in themselves they were no surprise on my daily walk. After all, I had put them there.
A decade and more ago, I and many other willing hands planted a mixed native hedge ¼ mile long. This winter it was to have been laid, Midlands style, with billhook and axe to make a living fence: good to look at, aromatic, and stockproof.
The surprise lay in how exuberantly the plant has flourished in the clear air this spring.
Each individual bloom lasts briefly and bears only the faintest scent. The whole cascade of roses, though! Wild and free, yet working together they produce a fragrance which fills the field.
Working together. It’s like the holy oil on the head of Aaron, first High Priest, running right down his beard overflowing on the collar of his robes.
It is like the mountain dew running down the hillside. There the Lord pours out his gift: life for evermore.
Thank you, Lord,
that you love each one of us with a love to fill the universe!
Give me grace:
to follow that trail of love;
to recognize that each of us is at a different stage on the trail;
and to accept the stage I am at.
Before settling down to sleep, look back at the day, pick out the best bits – say, three of them – and relive them? The natural perfume of those roses, the feel of soft English-summer sun on the skin, the gentle smile and a few words shared with a complete stranger in passing – or whatever: savour the pleasure once more. However good or bad a day you’ve had, there will have been such moments. I am sure God means us to enjoy them.
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A reflection from Jennifer Brooker ObJN, who has been a frequent visitor of Sarum College. She has a degree in Modern Languages from the University of Oxford and a degree in Divinity at Eberhard Karls Universität, Tübingen.