My Rose of Sharon

Just because I fail to put my wallet in its rightful place or because I leave my bag in the middle of our living room floor, doesn’t mean I’m lazy. In fact, my socks belong right where I left them – on the floor next to the chair in my office. I keep telling Melissa that but she doesn’t seem to believe me. Regardless, I stand by my argument: I’m not lazy, I simply forget.

Let me digress.

Several months ago, when moving into our new place, our new neighbor stopped by to drop off a welcoming gift. Unfortunately, we weren’t home at the time but she was kind enough to leave it at the door. The following day, in my normal hurry, I sat it in our garage, hoping for the chance to plant it in the near future.

It was a rose bush. The kind that comes in a plastic bag and has a handful of branches sprouting from the top. You know … the kind that should be planted shortly after its purchase? Or rather, the kind that requires water at least once in its lifetime … Yeah, that kind.

Now, it’s imperative that I remind you that I’m not lazy, I simply forget. Like the time I drove a flat bed truck for an equipment rental company I worked for who rented equipment to contractors, it wasn’t laziness that caused the truck’s boom arm to stay extended up to the sky only to rip down two electric poles, it was forgetfulness. And forgetfulness was the root cause as to why I didn’t get around to planting that beautiful rose bush our neighbor bought us.

So as you can imagine, weeks passed and it sat there. Months passed and it sat longer. In fact, it sat there up until a few weeks ago when I went in search for the occasionally used yet invaluable tool in the garage: the plunger.

Now, just because my garage isn’t as tidy as it could be, doesn’t make me lazy. The unorganized look is what I’m going for – or at least that’s what I keep telling Melissa. She doesn’t seem to believe me. Nevertheless, the story must go on.

In my desperate search for that invaluable tool, I came to what I call “The Corner.” You know what I’m talking about right? The dark, mysterious corner in every man’s garage where things just seem to congregate – the same place you store those nearly empty cans of paint you want to get rid of but for some reason you keep them forever. And it’s the same spot you hide those important thingamajigs that, if put anywhere else, your wife would “accidently” throw away.

That’s where I found it. Tucked into the dark corner, sitting next to the plunger was the rose bush that had long escaped my memory. Except this time its contents had noticeably changed. The stubby little rose bush that we were given had started blossoming right there in the corner of our garage – still in its original packaging.

I wasn’t sure if its growth was attributed to the fact that it sat for months next to the family plunger or if people were sneaking into my garage in the middle of the night, secretly spraying it with some miracle rose-growing chemical. Either way, this rose bush had experienced a radical transformation and I was pleased with the outcome.

After seeing what that rose bush looked like in the beginning and then, despite its lack of water and sunlight, seeing how it started growing into a beautiful plant, really got me thinking. Especially about all the times I’ve been through dark and dry seasons in my own life – or how Melissa and I have seen those moments of emptiness or lack of water being poured into in our marriage or ministry.

That little rose bush caused me to rethink the way God works in certain areas and times in our lives. How, despite the heaviness of going through dark times, situations or even hurts, we can grow… And not only can we grow, we can flourish and bloom into something more beautiful than we were in the beginning.

So, maybe it’s in those times we should start asking more questions; start asking how we can grow or how we can be pruned. Maybe God is faithful enough to meet us where we’re at, even if it’s not in the place we need to be. And maybe, just maybe, for some of us it’s time to get out of the darkness where we hide, push the smelly plunger out of the way, and show the rest of the world how we’ve been transformed.

The next day our neighbor, Sharon, was outside planting flowers of her own. I asked if she would like to plant the bush she gave us in our yard – since I’m not quite the green thumb. She gladly accepted.

Now, every time I walk out my front door, I’m greeted by what I call my “Rose of Sharon.” I was going to add something else to the end of this article … but I forgot.

Bo & Melissa Lane have two beautiful kids, Benjamin and Bella Lane. Besides having the privilege of printing this wonderful magazine, they enjoy long walks on the beach, listening to Hillsong United, and will pay virtually any amount for a quality babysitter.

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