16 May 2015
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I were sitting on the back porch admiring the close of the day. Nothing is more relaxing than sitting together drinking coffee, glad that another day has quietly slipped by.
Out of the clear blue sky my wife said, “Aren’t those flowers just magnificent?”
I grunted a little grunt of satisfaction to which she replied, “Which do you like? The roses or the tulips?”
Now I was in a bit of a predicament. I hate it when I get into a predicament, which is usually not my doing. I like to get along with people and just agree with them. What I hate is when people ask me a question and I really do not have an answer.
As to, which flower I liked, I really do not know the difference between a rose and a tulip. To me a flower is either yellow or blue. That is the only different kinds of flowers I know. But not so with my gardening connoisseur wife. Every flower has a name and you had better give it the right name.
As far as I am concerned, a flower is a flower. The purpose of a flower is to enjoy it; enjoy its look and its fragrance. All I can say about a flower is, “That’s a pretty flower.”
This certainly is not acceptable to my wife. Every flower must be treated with the dignity they have earned.
When it comes to flowers, especially the flowers in our backyard, my wife knows them all by name and their history from the time they were but a humble seed put into the ground. Personally, I do not have the time to invest in something like that. I find it strange talking to a flower. Talking to nuts, maybe, but not a flower.
“You should learn to appreciate flowers, especially the flowers in May.” At this point, I realized that I was in for conversation on flowers, whether I wanted to converse on flowers or not. Since I am a well-seasoned husband, I knew I just had to buckle down and endure it until it passed by.
One of my favorite Scripture is, “This too shall pass.”
“Don’t you remember what you were doing in April?”
Her question caught me by surprise. I was not quite sure what April had to do with flowers in our backyard, but I was about to find out.
“Don’t you remember that in April you were complaining about all the rain?” She said it rather sarcastically and I knew there was a point somewhere, but I was not getting it at this time. I did remember complaining about the rain.
It seems strange that every time I want to do something outside, particularly in the month of April, I no sooner get outside then it starts to rain. I know we need rain. Why can’t it rain at night when I am catching some Z's? That is what I would like to know. Why does rain have to inconvenience me?
If I plan for some indoor activity, it never rains. If I plan for something outside it always rains. I am getting a little paranoid at this. I knew in a moment my wife would straighten me out on this one.
“Remember that little rhyme that goes, ‘April showers bring May flowers’? We have these marvelous flowers in the month of May because of the rain in April. I think you need to begin to appreciate the rain because of what it brings about.”
Well, I did remember that old rhyme from school days. I just never put any kind of practicality to that sort of thing. It is not that I do not like poetry; I just do not understand poetry. And, just to set the record straight, I have written my share of poetry. However, poetry, especially my poetry, does not have anything to do with real life.
My mind was soon to be changed. I got a lecture on the whole dimension of April showers and the effect on the May flowers. I only wish I had a recording of that because I could put it online and let everybody know about this.
When my wife went into the house to get some coffee, I had a moment to muse on that whole “April shower” bringing “May flower” idea. I must admit, there is something to it.
When I am going through a very difficult time, I sometimes wonder what in the world is the purpose of it all? I would like to go through life without any difficulties whatsoever. But, just like those “April showers,” the difficulties in life have a purpose down the road a bit.
The trials of life have a purpose that may not be evident at the time, but given enough time, those “April showers” will bring some of those marvelous “May flowers.” This should encourage me in particular to appreciative the difficulties in my life. They are not there arbitrarily.
James understood this when he wrote, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have herperfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:2-4).
When my wife came back with the fresh coffee, I said to her, “Your May flowers are simply spectacular.” She smiled, then nodded and just looked at her May flowers.