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“A Rose is a Rose is a Rose”

By Cherise Wyneken

“What do you think it’s right to pray for?” my friend asked.

“I’m in a hurry,” I said. “I’ll think about it and talk to you on Wednesday.”

I sounded like I knew. But I was still trying to decipher phrases like “A rose is

a rose is a rose,” in the poetry class we were attending. How could I answer such

a question?

Perhaps there is no single answer. Maybe the question itself, shows a lack of

understanding about prayer, for prayer is more than a scribbled shopping list or a

child’s letter to Santa. Prayer has often been described as conversation with God,

with everything that true conversation entails, including both speaking and

listening. At best it begins with an awe-filled awareness that the “almighty God

of heaven and earth,” is attuned to our specific wavelength.

But we do not start out our lives knowing how to converse. Perhaps, like a

rose, prayers go through stages in their development first a shoot, then a hard

knob upon the stalk, then leaves, a bud, a gradual awakening of the bloom, and a

final fade before the fall.

If you happened to start with a Germanic background like mine, you probably began your prayer life with a few simple words such as, “Abba Vater, Amen.” And that’s not so bad. In fact, it’s just what Jesus said to do address the Father.

When we are young we call on Dad if we are frightened; and so we also beg God, “keep me safe till morning bright.”

Later we begin to ask for specific things, and because Dad loves us, he gives us the bike or Barbie doll we want. I call this the “gimme” period, like the time I was young and desperate, standing at the corner of Bonanza and Diablo, waiting for the Greyhound Bus. I needed to meet my fiancé in the city, fifteen miles away, to get the blood tests for our upcoming wedding. The invitations were all out. I could almost smell the cake. This was my last chance. As I waited I grew frantic and prayed. “Please God, help me get gimme a ride.” A nice, safe looking, woman drove up to the stop sign, ready to turn right. Then she called to me, “Going into Oakland? Come on. Hop in. I’ll give you a lift. These buses aren’t always reliable.”

That worked pretty well; and so one begins to ask for more “things.” Dad

says, “Well, maybe. But you know, your mother needs a new washer and your

sister needs braces.” We begin to see that our little wants don’t count for much

and we feel foolish now to ask. We realize that God has many children, with a

multitude of needs. We begin to see that asking God to make the day sunny for

my picnic might deprive farmers of their needed rain.

Now the leaves shoot out. We look around and notice other people’s problems. Perhaps your prayer, like mine, is for assistance in finding a helper for an aging mother. The focus shifts to fitting needs and goals together no more “my

sunshine versus the farmer’s rain.”

The bud is forming. We struggle to understand how it all works out, and so we cry out to the Father, “Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24 KJV).

And an answer comes maybe through a friend, or a sermon we are sure was ear-

marked just for us, or perhaps, (as has happened many times to me) through daily Scripture reading.

And like a rose, we finally bloom. We ask the Father to help us blossom full

and bright, to make a lovely scent for some sick, despairing soul to savor.

And then, like a fading rose that drops its petals in old age, we return once

more to our beginnings, and know it is all right to simply say, “Abba, Father,

Amen.”

Spiritual Life 1993

Rights revert to author.

Cherise Wyneken is a freelance writer of adult & juvenile poetry and prose. Her work has appeared in over 200 publications, 2 books & 2 chapbooks of poetry, a memoir of her spiritual journey, a novel, a child’s spiritual book, & a child’s audio tape.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERMAKE A WEBSITE

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