Two Withered Roses
Peter and Rebekah Laue
October 17, 2017
These words have been bathed and birthed with many tears.
Here is what my heavenly Father has put on my heart to tell you:
We, who see ourselves as civilized, cultured, intelligent and educated have pushed many of our parents and older saints aside. We may live near them or far away, but our hearts may not be connected to them. That bond is a mysterious gift from God. We have become busy with our own lives, work and children so that there is little left over for our aging parents and older saints. We are busy (burdened under satan's yoke) chasing dreams and dollars while barely able to keep our own heads above water.
What seems to be the problem? Maybe we have never learned to budget our emotional resources, time or finances or bridle our passions? Maybe our priorities are in disarray? If what God tells us to do in his Word is not number one, but at the bottom of the list, we are in trouble. No wonder He is not able to flavor our lives with His favor and presence.
Honoring and helping our aging parents, grandparents and saints should be a priority and a matter of the heart and not one prompted by obligation, guilt or tradition. If we do not honor our parents, God will not hear our prayers and petitions. But how can we honor those who changed our diapers and sacrificed their lives for us? We can honor them by allowing them to share their wisdom with us. We can honor them by sharing our heartaches and allowing them to do the same. We can honor them by thanking them for the life and love they have poured into us even though they may not have done it perfectly. We can honor them by asking, "Is there anything you need; is there anything we can do for you? Is there something around the house, inside or out that needs doing or fixing?" We can honor them by serving them as they have served us. If we honor, serve and prefer one another, we won’t need Social Security; we will have Heavenly Security.
We believe that our friend, J. Christopher White, woodcarver and poet, is expressing our Father's grieving heart for the elderly, the lonely, the outcasts, the grieving and the forgotten. Via J. Christoper's beautiful and sobering words and wood sculpture, we hear the silent plea of the older and often forgotten saints to which this writer and his wife Rebekah now belong. J. Christopher White has published his art and God's heart in a book titled: “Expressions in Wood.” The poem “God’s Withered Rose," one of many, is prefaced by these heartfelt words. They opened a deluge of tears in these two withered roses:
“I call this piece ‘God’s Withered Rose’ because I want the elderly to know that despite the often cruel and heartless treatment our society mandates the younger citizens should give to our seniors, the aged are still exceedingly precious in the eyes of God. They are still His, much loved, wept over, and tenderly held in His majestic hands. Why do we buy the lies that devalue the worth of the objects of God’s love? What value system dare place comfort, convenience or time above a human soul? May I suggest a very devilish system is in operation in our hearts – a hellish factory of lies produced in a region of our hearts guarded viciously by pride, selfishness and a host of hell with their arsenal of apathy, greed and willful blindness.
“If anger seems to leap off this page, it is because I too am infected with this leaven, and it hurts to see my apathy evidenced through my actions. I desire a change, a solution to the lies that are eating away at mankind, killing the innocent at both ends of the spectrum of life.
“I think we all know in our hearts the truth: God is no respecter of persons; the elderly are still our neighbors. We are commanded to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’ (Matthew 22:39). We have basic emotional needs in addition to the physical. For the elderly, the hearts’ needs are unmet. You see, we all need to be valued, approved of and accepted, but these three needs we cannot meet by ourselves. They must come through others. Our society has conditioned us to be so busy seeking these blessings that we miss the avenue of truly receiving them: the giving of the same to others. The second reason for making this sculpture is, as you may have guessed, to exhort you to realize that there is not one emotional need we have that is not shared in equal intensity by those weathered pilgrims further down the path we walk. Ask the One who died for them how to let them know you see; then, more importantly, act and respond to their pleas for love.” (James 1-21-27 and Matthew 25:31-46)
“God’s Withered Rose”
I’m not a rose so withered
that my heart can no more ache,
nor have I ceased to will to give
though it’s now my lot to take.
For time has done its number
on my old and dying shell,
but still inside this framework
is a person, can’t you tell?
A person who once laughed and played
in the sunshine of my youth,
loved and had a family,
raised them in the Truth.
The joys I shared in friendships,
the sorrows shared in loss,
I still desire to share again,
though that avenue seems lost.
I’m in prison – could you visit me?
just let me know you see,
that despite my feeble dying frame,
it’s still worthwhile to know me.
With love to all who see us and know us as their
Dad and Mom, Grandpa and Grandma
God's Two Withered Roses
Peter and Rebekah of Pagosa Springs, Colorado
PS: Friend Brent writes:
I saw a program once on the Japanese culture. Japanese people have a tremendous loyalty to their elderly loved ones. They don't understand rest homes like we have in America. They wouldn't even entertain the idea of putting their elderly parents anywhere except in their own homes so they can take care of them and become a servant to their elderly parents till they pass away. They consider it a blessing to take care of their parents. They don't even have old folks homes in Japan. We could all learn something from them. It's hard to teach someone compassion.
Let's stay in touch,
All writings by Peter, the Lord's Scribe and Storyteller and all paintings by Rebekah, the Lord's artist are copyright free.