I received my first roses from my father. That's the way it should be. A girl should always receive her first roses from her father or if that is not possible, from her grandfather, a brother or an uncle for your first roses rather than from someone who is trying to win your love. Notice I said your first roses!
My father died when I was 16 years old. He came to know Christ exactly 3 weeks prior to his death and I am looking forward to that day when I will one day see him again. In the meantime, over the years, it has become customary for me to place roses on his grave on Memorial Day as well as at other times.
Because my father is buried in one of the national cemeteries, it becomes extremely crowded on Memorial Day as they have a big program which takes place honoring the members of the armed forces who have died. Therefore, I usually head over to the cemetery on Friday, if I am leaving town for the weekend or I go on Saturday or Sunday. I went to the cemetery yesterday.
I stood in front of the flowers on display and uneasily fingered my purse. I wanted so much to do what I had always done. I wanted to buy a dozen beautiful red roses but with my husband unemployed other than things he can pick up here and there and myself on disability, I must carefully turn every penny twice. There were anniversary and birthdays coming up soon, some routine car maintenance which needs to be done and gas prices which had soared above $4.00 a gallon.
I stood there for a long time, staring at the roses before I sadly turned away. I just could not do it. My eyes rested on some less expensive bouquets. They were lovely enough but they weren't roses...
As I moved about, my eyes lit upon some single roses. I could get a single rose without breaking my budget but at the same time a single rose seemed so small and so inadequate. It was just a single rose.
I hesitated for a moment and moved toward the small bouquets of mixed flowers. Then I stopped. I turned, selected a rose and laid it on the counter.
The clerk waited. I waited. We both waited. Finally she spoke.
"That's all you want?"
I paid for my purchase and hurried out to my car, hoping that I would not get caught in the rain. I placed the single long-stemmed red rose carefully on the seat next to me. I stared at it for a moment and burst into tears.
It seemed like such a poor, insignificant and cheap little gift but it was the best I could do at the moment. Suddenly, I had a strong feeling that if I would have done otherwise, my dad would have disapproved. He had never rejected or despised any gift I had ever given him. Never, for he understood and received the love in which those gifts were given. If my dad were here today, he would not see one single little rose. Instead he would only see the love it was wrapped up in... the love a daughter has for her beloved father. The love of their child is a father's most prized possession.
Our Heavenly Father does not desire the giant bouquets of sacrifices and flowery words of praise. The thing He desires the most is something which only we can give. He cannot/will not compel us to give it for it must be freely given or it loses it's value. The thing God desires most is "the rose of our love". That's all.