Rose Petals

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My flowers are starting to look gorgeous. It’s that time of year.

I must admit—the only thing that makes them “mine” are the fact that they are in “my” landscape. I have put zero work into these flowers this year. That’s why I need low maintenance perennials. I know that if I carved out the time it takes to nurture new flowers, I would stay stressed out about the boys throwing frisbees and riding bikes around them.

So I was able to give a sincerely grateful reaction this week when my two oldest boys walked into the kitchen with four fistfuls of pink petals from my knockout roses. They were so proud to give them to me.

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The first of many I will receive this year.

What appropriate gifts these delicate petals make, reminding me of God’s beauty in His creation, of the life He created so that we may know His beauty and glorify Him.

Two days after the boys dumped the petals on my kitchen counter, I found myself standing beside a row of knockout rose bushes in a different setting—outside of an abortion clinic. As of last week, I will be there every Friday.

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The roses separate the clinic from the rest of the world. I never thought I’d be there, but then again, neither did most of the women going into the clinic.

And that’s why we’re there—to offer help and hope to those feeling desperate, to those feeling like they have no other choice. How incredibly humbling it is to meet someone in their moment of desperation.

We hope they recognize our kind, nonjudgmental approach. Many won’t talk to us. I could speculate on the reasons, but regardless, it’s obvious each one is dealing with a mix of emotions and pain. Sometimes, one will talk. That’s what happened this week.

She had driven a long way for her appointment, determined it was what she had to do. The long drive had not provided the peace of mind she had hoped for. She was struggling before we even talked to her. She went ahead with her appointment, but told us she would come see us afterward.

She came out with different feelings. She said they did an ultrasound, but would not let her see it when she asked if she could. They would not tell her the baby’s heart rate. How ironic that a place dedicated to her choice wouldn’t let her see her baby (or whatever was going on inside her body if they didn’t consider it a baby).They gave her a printed ultrasound picture, one of only a portion of the baby’s head which did not look like a baby.

When she came into our clinic, she was blown away by every detail she could see on ultrasound. We watched this tiny human moving around, stretching, kicking. For a few seconds during the scan, the entire screen was black except for two hands, all ten fingers stretched out.

There was no manipulation. We were simply there to show her what was in her womb.

If the anticipation is getting to you, she decided to keep the baby.

That child, God’s creation, gets to experience life. No, that life will not be perfect. That life will face challenges of its own, but that life gets a chance to live. That mom will not have a perfect pregnancy or a perfect child. It still may feel like “bad timing” to have a baby. But that mom will get the chance to experience new life, and she won’t have to live with years of hurt and wondering.

I pray that her future holds numerous love offerings of rose petals, dandelions, outside-the-line colorings, sticky kisses, and all the other blessings this child may bring.

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