Tuesday, January 21, 2014

An Unexpected Reminder of the Renewal of All Good Things

I feel terrible. Absolutely horrible.

I am notorious for being a little clumsy, a little oblivious, and at times a little like a Tyrannosaurus Rex in a room full of irreplaceable ancient manuscripts. (The bull in the china shop is forgivable compared to my atrocities.) I've broken things, I've hurt myself, and I've made loud, embarrassing noises. But tonight I did my worst.

Tonight, while opening a box for Laurin, I put it back down on our coffee table and accidentally crushed something very important to her—and to me: the rose I had given her on our very first date.

I had brought Laurin a rose and Timothy Keller's The Prodigal God when I came to pick her up for our first date. The Tim Keller book was because she had told me the Parable of the Prodigal Son was one of her favorite passages of Scripture, and the pink rose was because I wanted her to know how much I liked her already. (I thought red might seem too serious, too soon and scare her off.)

Laurin, the sentimental soul that she is, hung the rose upside-down and dried it out to preserve it. But now it's more like half a rose next to a small pile of potpourri that's lost its scent. When she walked into the room and saw what I had inadvertently done, she was upset. When I looked down and saw the rose fragments, I was upset. She was mad that I had crushed the rose. I was mad that she had placed the box so close to the rose in the first place. Doesn't she know I don't do well with not destroying things? Hadn't she learned from Beauty and the Beast that all important roses should be kept under glass?

There's no replacing the rose, but thankfully, our relationship is more than just artifacts. The truth is, while we both would have liked to have kept the rose forever—to show to our kids and our grandkids—nothing lasts forever.

First Corinthians 7:31 tells us, "For the present form of this world is passing away." God is creating a new heavens and a new earth. This one is being renewed, but right now, it is in decay. The curse of sin has subjected creation to bondage (Romans 8:21); things are not as they should be.

I don't know if our rose would've survived forever in a world without sin. I don't know if it too will be redeemed and remade when the heavens and the earth are made anew. But I am faced tonight with a reminder of life's fragility in the disappointed eyes of my beautiful wife. And I long for a world where disappointment will be swallowed up in the tidal wave of God's glory and in the resurrection of the good, the true, and the beautiful things of life.

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