Roses and Relationships

One sunny morning a few days ago, I was cleaning up in the living room and took notice of the recently placed flower arrangement on my dining room table. It was a beautiful, large, bouquet with lots of baby's breath, boughs of cedar-like greenery, sprigs of lemon leaves and branches of hypericum with it's red berry flowers. Hidden deep within all the grandeur of the lush greenery were six red roses and a single small lily.
It seemed strange to me that the focal point of the arrangement was not the flowers, but instead the showy greenery. When I took a closer look, I was even more amazed to realize that, although the arrangement was only a few days old, there was a wilting red rose hidden among the spray. Those flowers, given only a few days ago as a Valentine's day gift, were drooping. A gift that was supposed to show love, unconditional and never-ending, was already fading away.

A few days later, I again thought to look at the flowers and noticed that most of the roses were not only wilted but were dropping their petals. I decided that it was time to help them out. I got a bigger vase, put in fresh water and started trimming the stems of the remaining pieces of the arrangement. To my surprise, there were not one, but two beautiful white lilies hidden among the greenery, and I put them as the central focus for this new arrangement. There was one red rose intact enough to survive a few more days and so it was put to the front of the lilies where it could be in their shadow.
Of the three in this new floral arrangement, the two pure white lilies stood tall and firm, the sunlight reflecting through the window, giving them a vibrant look. The one remaining red rose stood in stark contrast to the lilies. The light didn't reach it, yet it seemed content with where it was, alone and dark.
I thought of the relationships that those flowers represented and I reflected on how we can choose to live with the light of Christ or we can choose to live in darkness. No one can choose for us, that is our gift, our agency, to direct our own lives. However, if we choose to take that agency and give it back to the Lord and live our lives following His light, instead of giving up, we gain: we become white and pure, tall and firm against the backdrop of a fading world, wilting into the darkness of sin and opression.
I hope that I live everyday so as to reflect the sunlight that streams into my life. I hope that I recognize the great blessings that that 'sonlight' floods through me despite the trials and problems that come daily. I hope that I can share that light with others around me so that they too can bask in the sun.