Cross thoughts: Christian ideas seen in Sudanese every day life.
I always try to grow sweet smelling red roses in my garden. We even did when we lived in Khartoum.
My favourite rose is this English one, called Fragrant Cloud. It has a strong, outstandingly pleasant sweet aroma, adding to the beauty of its colour and shape.
But I can’t smell my roses anymore. I have lost my sense of smell since becoming a neck-breather when my voice box was removed owing to cancer in 1996. Because air doesn’t pass through my nose, I can no longer fully enjoy my roses. But I can still remember, and imagine.
Just last week we had unseasonably heavy rains with squally winds. My roses took a merciless beating from both, while my wife and I stayed indoors and could only look out of the window, powerless at the damage being done.
The day after the rain stopped. I started to clear away the debris. I cut off nine, once beautiful now battered, roses. Their petals were pitted, their colour drained and their shape horribly distorted.
Having cut them, instead of throwing them away, I put them all in a 2.5cm shallow pie dish filled with fresh water. Brenda came into the kitchen, stopped and said, “What is that beautiful fragrance?” I pointed to the beaten up roses and I smiled in my heart!
Father God quietly said to me: “My son Colin. You may feel disabled now you have lost your preaching voice. But remember, I am your Father God in heaven. I can still spread the fragrance of Jesus, even using damaged people, like the one you have now become”.
I still pray: “Thank you, Lord God, for your overriding sovereignty, wisdom and ability”.
Our God can use you too! “God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him”.
1 Corinthians 1:27-‐29.
You may be bashed and battered, but God sees you as part of His beautiful creation.