While Picking Roses

This painting is from a store called, Fine Art America, and is named, Sunday Afternoon – Ladies in a Garden.

I discovered the painting while perusing Google image for something else that would fit the pastor’s sermon. It struck me as slightly sad. One woman in the background is picking roses. Obviously, she’s quite happy. But the lady in the foreground rests her arms on the bench and lays her head down. She frowns at something past the painter, lost in thought.

Is she married and is her husband is unhappy with her, or maybe her husband spends too much time away from home? Or maybe she’s not married and the beau she fell in love with is not approved of by the family? Or maybe he broke her heart?

Lying in the shade next to her looks to be a diary or a book. She’s marked her place with a ribbon. Maybe she’s trying to articulate her feelings on paper on a quiet Sunday afternoon while the family is busy? Some things haven’t changed.

Journals have become public now. We’re trying to find our place with words in a world that has lost its magic. We’re trying to heal from the rent of grief in a world apathetic to everything but its own interests. Words still have the power to heal or hurt and does more damage than any weapon.

I remember a saying painted across the top of my high school gym: “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

As fast as technology has risen and as far as our world has run towards the future there’s still time to turn some things back—a u-turn. a soft suggestion, a counter-cultural move observed by others to show that some things shouldn’t change. We can publish words on the screen to gently suggest it’s time to return to Him, but only Jesus can heal what the world has shredded. Denial can only last so long before reality crushes us and makes us aware that there’s more to this world than nature or science, but a God that runs it all. He’s in control.

And He’s going to come back.

The woman in the garden will eventually rise again and continue writing in her journal. In her time, computers and Facebook didn’t exist. There was no need to play with Androids. She had time to enjoy a Sunday afternoon minus the hum of a computer, the boom of woofers in a passing car, and the pressing need to be somewhere. I bet that’s her sister in the background. The lady’s sister looks so content to just be picking roses in order to add some color to some corner of a room.

It takes just one word; one action to turn a head and make people notice their own behavior. What are you doing today to make that difference however small?

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10 thoughts on “While Picking Roses

  1. “She had time to enjoy a Sunday afternoon minus the hum of a computer, the boom of woofers in a passing car, and the pressing need to be somewhere.”

    Mmm…yes. I heard a friend last night musing how she wished they still had time just to relax and watch a movie as a family on Friday evenings. And I thought… why is it that so many of us don’t? Do we always have to be spinning these days? Funny, too, how even those days of my childhood…minus computers etc… we didn’t seem to know it we had more time…

    Thanks for sharing – beautiful post.

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  2. “……but only Jesus can heal what the world has shredded.” That’s my favorite line. We are all walking wounded really, as Henri Nouwen wisely observed. Lori

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  3. Thanks for sharing some interesting thoughts and questions on a beautiful painting. Our happiness can be so fleeting, but you are right–someday all that will matter is being with Jesus, face-to-face. Gail

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  4. “We can publish words on the screen to gently suggest it’s time to return to Him, but only Jesus can heal what the world has shredded.” so very true, friend. may my words call others to run to the cross {with me}, & there find grace, freedom, healing.

    thanks for this, nikole,
    tanya

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