Honor to whom honor is due

It was with happy thoughts of a yellow climbing rose that I planted something on the west side of the old white trellis. The lady who traded plants with me wasn’t sure it was really the old-fashioned “Jude the Obscure,” because her tag had only been labeled “Rose by the trellis.” She has four trellises! She gave me the names of all the possibilities, and most of them were climbers.

The weeks plodded by as I anxiously awaited the blossom that would reveal the variety of my new acquisition. Being behind a three-foot wall, the first bloom came and went, unheralded and unseen! Imagine my disappointment when I saw the spent rose hip instead of a bloom. More weeks dragged by. At last, Jude opened in all his fragrant wonder!

We had planted it by the patio wall by the steps, in order to take the best advantage of the fragrant climbing rose when we enjoy coffee on the patio. Unfortunately, Jude is not a climber. His companions in Barbara’s garden were climbing roses, and that’s what I planned for.

I wanted the rose to come to ME, and to appear casually as I went about my business, not to have to be hunted among the zinnias and ageratum behind the wall. No doubt about it, Jude – who only reaches a height of four feet at maturity – needs to be moved to a place of honor commensurate with his ability to be seen in his low-statured fragrant glory.

Isn’t it odd how we often search out special people only on special days? We miss so much on the days that we don’t, just like I missed Jude’s first bloom.

Mother’s Day is one day a year to seek out and honor a woman who has given so much. She may not be tall in stature in our eyes, with all her imperfections. She may be a disappointment in many ways, like the muted color of my new rose.

My own mother passed away when I was nine, and my stepmother did not often seek ME out, like the new rose didn’t climb up to give pleasure to people on the patio. Whether or not she met my ideal as a mother, she was still due honor and respect, and so I gave it. I came to her aid, not the other way around; just like I have to search out my rose behind the wall. It might not climb up to peek at me above the wall.

This is the first Mother’s Day for me without either my stepmother or my mother-in-law, who was another lady I honored in spite of her dislike for me and for my faith. Honor and respect don’t always have to be earned. In the case of mothers and fathers, the Bible teaches us to give honor!

“Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:2-3, NASB).

This pale rose won’t earn love and admiration by its flashy color or ability to climb gracefully over the aging white arbor. It may not be my favorite rose. But as the saying goes, “A rose is a rose is a rose.”

Respect, love, and honor are due to this bloom, and I intend to give it. Happy Mother’s Day!


2 Replies to “Honor to whom honor is due”

  1. Tina, Thank you for this special “Mother’s Day” article. I am sorry for the loss of your mother so early in life. My mother is 85 this year and going strong. Although there have been some very rough and trying times through our history, I will love and cherish her. Give “Jude” a wonderful place to live and enjoy the blooms.

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