They’re dead, Yesenia. I’m sorry.”
It was a disturbing sight.
They were brutally left in the back of a van to bake under the relentless Guatemalan sun for hours.
We found the twelve of them bundled together, their heads drooped lifelessly at all angles.
“Go inside, Honey. I’ll get rid of them.”
“No,” replied Yesenia. “I liked them very much. Please…. bring them to the kitchen so I can try to save something from them.”
And that is how the story of our dozen roses began.
I was pretty certain the flowers were beyond hope.
Petals were falling off. The leaves were curled and not so green anymore. A bee flew by and didn’t even bother to check them out.
Yesenia admitted that she had much doubt, too. But she poured her heart into saving them.
She nipped a bit off the stems, removed the thorns, and gently placed them in a vase of fresh water as she quietly assured them it would be alright.
In a show of faith, Yesenia put these wilted, dried-out things in a position of honor: dead center of the coffee table, in front of the couch, blocking my view of the television.
She won’t admit it, but she probably prayed over the flowers while I was working in another part of the house.
Whatever Yesenia did, it worked.
Imagine my surprise when I returned to find life blooming with gusto from that flower vase.
For more than a week, those roses flourished and provided beauty in our home.
It would have been so easy to just throw them away and grab another dozen. There are roses everywhere in Guatemala.
But Yesenia knew those roses just needed help to get reborn.
We know there are people who seem just as easy to throw away and forget.
But what if they just need a little stem-snipping and thorn removal? Or a fresh glass of water?
There are people near you who just need a moment front and center to bloom.
Others could use a glass of water to strengthen their stems and brighten their petals.
They need a reminder they are beautiful children of God… our brothers and sisters.
And for us to remember they are beautiful children of God… our brothers and sisters.
Certainly, they are worth our attention and some fresh water.
The Covid Crisis pushed a lot of our friends and neighbors out of the main streets of our lives- not just here in Guatemala, but in your neighborhood, too.
For many of us, it is unfamiliar territory to find ourselves struggling and in need of attention.
Yesenia and I are blessed with the time and resources to look for wilting flowers every week.
But even if you only have a minute, how about calling on someone you haven’t heard from in a while?
You might just end up being the glass of water that gets them through this moment.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)