Thursday, October 2, 2008

Creeping Through the Thorns

I don't normally like to post a piece of a poem without the whole. But today I will anyway. The scene in the poem is that a rich older woman had kept a garden. After her death it had been left unattended until a small child found it. Here are two stanzas from right in the middle of the poem.

from The Deserted Garden
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Oh, little thought that lady proud,
A child would watch her fair white rose,
When buried lay her whiter brows,
And silk was changed for shroud!--

Nor thought that gardener (full of scorn
For men unlearned and simple phrase),
A child would bring it all its praise
By creeping through the thorns!

I am struck how perfect that image is for so many aspects of our lives. Isn't that what friendship is, a creeping through the thorns? And marriage? And isn't that how we find ourselves getting to know our place in this world, and in the Church? Creeping through the thorns to goggle at the hidden beauty of a white rose in its midst?

Isn't that how we find ourselves learning to love all that God has given us when we are at our most unaffected and sincere?

The best things that we have in life are found by creeping through the thorns and the best praise that we can give to God or anyone else is to go creeping through the thorns. Discovering.

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