A man may enjoy the beauty of a rose and caress its petals carefully. One who holds a rose, however, will surely be cut by its thorns at some point. And once the man is injured, he will flinch, dropping the rose to the ground. The rose has caused him pain, but despite the pain of its thorns, his love for its exquisite beauty is enough for the man to pick it back up again.
I see many roses with thorns that cut straight through the hearts that touch them, and yet those hearts pick up that same rose again and again until there is no more blood left to spill. I consider this carefully as I see a lone rose withering on the ground, and ask it why it was left there all alone.
“ I have been held by more than one,” replied the rose, “but alas, they each held me only once before they were pricked by my thorns. They never picked me back up.”
But surely they loved you enough to pick you back up again. They need only be more careful next time.
“No,” the rose sighed, “No one can love my red petals that much. It’s much easier for them to pick another rose, more fresh and vibrant than I.” “No,” the rose sighed, “No one can love my red petals that much. It’s much easier for them to pick another rose, more fresh and vibrant than I.”
But however more vibrant another rose may be, it still has thorns as you do. Some that cut much deeper and leave wounds that are much more grim. They still get picked up again and again, because to love a rose is to not only love its petals, but also the thorns on its stem.
To my horror, my words made the rose wither more. “It doesn’t work like that for me, my friend. They love me until they feel my thorny prick, and then I’m tossed to the ground and left to die. They won’t pick me up again. Unlike the other roses, I don’t know the trick.”
But… the other ro—
“The other roses! Yes, yes! I know! The deeper their thorns cut, the tighter their stems are held! I get that! But not for me! No one can love me that much, I could have no thorns at all and I would still not be loved for long! A stem as smooth as silk, I could have and it would still all go wrong!”
A bit taken aback by the rose’s poetic outburst, I stepped back and studied it in silence. How many people had held that rose, only to toss it away to go pick another? A mother? A father? A child, perhaps? Someone’s best friend? A lover? A gardener? How many could it be?
It was then I decided. And I knew what that decision would bring. I knew that rose was right for me.
‘You’re beautiful’, I suddenly said. I gently traced its withering petals and wiped a dewdrop off the red.
“What are you doing?” The rose gasped in surprise. “Don’t pick me up! My thorns have hardened and dried! You’re just going to start bleeding if you hold on to me! My dry thorns will break off and get stuck in your skin! Don’t even try!” “What are you doing?” The rose gasped in surprise. “Don’t pick me up! My thorns have hardened and dried! You’re just going to start bleeding if you hold on to me! My dry thorns will break off and get stuck in your skin! Don’t even try!”
I ignored the cries of protest for me to just walk away. I picked it up once… twice… three times… I dropped it back on the ground as I winced in pain, but I picked it right back up each time and promised it I would continue to for the rest of my days.
I planted its stem into the core of my heart so it could take root, gave it plenty of sunshine, and just enough rain and fresh air. I learned to endure those painful thorns when my hand slipped. And in time, they rarely touched me because I had learned to caress it with the greatest of care.
I love that rose with a passion deeper than the depths of hell. I know without a doubt that this love will survive. The edges of its petals still withered from the past, but the vibrant beauty of its love for me makes my heart glisten with every dewdrop it cries.