Sabbatical Series: Enduring Thorns

It has always been true that the world has a way of catching us off guard. Many of us like to think we have our life in control. Especially if we were fortunate enough to be born into a comfortable middle-class family, we have been taught to work hard and life will reward you. Pestilence, natural disasters, and war intervene, toppling our achievements.

In the midst of what is happening, we all need hope! Sharing words of hope and encouragement is going to be my focus as I take a sabbatical from new posts for a short while and reach back to republish some of my prior writings.

Enduring Thorns

One of my climbing red rose bushes this year developed a really thick stem with huge prickly thorns for practically its entire length of about four feet. That started me to think about the thorns we are enduring in our daily lives which have been turned topsy-turvy in 2020 as we react to COVID-19, economic instability, social unrest, and increasing crime.

You’ve had COVID-19, or you know someone who has had it. You have been impacted by the lack of a steady income or, if you were fortunate enough to have a financial reserve, you are seeing it depleted. You have been a part of a prolonged protest against racial and other inequalities in our society. Or you have been forced to board up your business or seen businesses you depend on shuttered.

How many other thorns are going to tear at your skin and render you weak physically and mentally? Not one of us knows.

Something I do know about my spiky rose bush: it has, and it continues to produce gorgeous deep scarlet, fragrant blooms. When I need to prune or want to cut a few for my table, I have to wear gloves and work carefully. Even with my caution, I put a big gash right above my left wrist a couple of weeks ago. It healed as I treated it with a topical antibiotic cream. But I have a purple scar from the encounter. So all these thorns—trials and difficulties—we are enduring in our lives leave scars.

But don’t give up hope. Push beyond the immediate pain and see your scars as a testimony to your strength. Find today’s roses and enjoy them. And know there will be more in the future!

Looking Past the Thorns to See the Roses

Short Essay on Endurance
Connie Carlisle Polley, 2020-2022

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