The Thorn and the Rose -By Lois Macdonald

Heavy eyelids lifted ever so slightly, then abruptly closed in a desperate attempt to shield her thoughts from today’s demanding agenda. Daylight gradually escorted all lovely remnants of sweet dreams and wishful thinking out of mind, making room for unfinished business and what refused to be deleted from the “I would rather forget this” memory section. Not that she considered her life filled with unpleasantries. Quite the opposite. But she did agree, without prejudice, that the Apostle Paul’s belief, “that to keep me [Paul] from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh…” [2 Corinthians 12:7-8], held true for everyone. She concluded that she must have been leaning towards a very prideful life indeed if the tormentor chose to push her into the entire thorn bush? It was a little comfort knowing that not a single person was exempt from this dreaded “thorn in the side” plight.

Sleep, however, seemed to be the one true sanctuary she could count on to provide rest for her festering soul.

The loud outcry of a nearby alarm broke any resemblance of calm into millions of shattered pieces before she could capture a single one. With a disheartened sigh, she slipped her toasty feet from under the snug duvet onto the cold tiled floor below. A new day had arrived.

 Who is this arch enemy who jabs at our sides as a cruel reminder of our imperfections? Implanting visions of battlefields filled with failed diets, unused gym memberships, half-finished projects, broken promises and for extra effect, and last but not least, an exhausted flag of procrastination marking the vacation destination, whose brochure was abandoned long ago, now collecting dust? 

“I was given a thorn in my flesh.” Paul’s openness to share his thorn story gave her a spark of courage to look beyond the thorns today. Beyond the pain of her repeated defeats. She felt she could almost hear Paul cheering, saying “the thorns were never there to harm you.” “ The Creator has placed them there to keep the enemy from devouring you.” The sweet fragrance of rose petals filled her room.

As she left her home that morning, it was not the critical voice of the enemy she heard. It was the gentle voice of Jesus calling in the soft breeze, “Follow Me precious one.  For I am the Rose of Sharon, and you belong in My Father’s Garden.”


Without forethought or announcement, a spark suddenly ignites between two unsuspecting strangers. A chance encounter, or predestined event, either way, it is like a breath of fresh air or the feel of cool rain on your face after a long season of drought. Simply put, there is no need for friendship to be introduced, for its possibilities are not bound by protocol, or ever forced. No balloons or extravagant invitations are necessary. However, in that moment of truth, an engraving is forever tattooed on your heart and a new friend moves in.
It should be considered the 8th wonder of the world.
Miraculous because this new confidant can already finish your sentences, laughs and weeps at the exact moments you do and helps you take out the old baggage from your past. In other words, they fit like the comfortable slippers you’ve never tired of.
My question is this. Would a waterfall cascading down a mountainside be as brilliant if there was no one special to share it with? Or the sea rolling back and forth, according to its Divine conductor. Surely its Creator did not selfishly hide it away as part of his private collection.
I believe its true value is discovered in the sharing of its beauty between those we love.
Friendship is that spark that ignites the heart, making it shine even brighter! An incandescent life.


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