Make some space!

Our new habit of social distancing has made everyone even more aware of giving space to one another. In the garden, we have no such methodology, but even in a crowded garden bed, proper spacing must be maintained. 

The surprising gift of two Veilchenblau roses last year was reason enough to rearrange the patio bed. These fragrant purple roses were perfect to go on my backyard trellis. There was one problem; we had a beautiful “Jude the Obscure” rose bush too close to one side of it already. 

The obvious solution was to move the rose bush in the springtime. Earlier this year, we set about to accomplish the worthy goal of having both purple and white roses in that bed. What we didn’t expect was that the weather would surprise us with not only one late frost, but three! “Jude” didn’t survive the move. 

It’s sometimes hard to make space, especially if we are established in one spot and comfortable where we are, like this gorgeous white rose. 

Before the pandemic, it was puzzling and a little annoying to see people taking up a whole pew by occupying only the ends. Now it is normal. Before, it was probably lack of concern for others that we did that; now it is because we give them space for their (and our) health. 

Being considerate of others, in whatever way that presents itself, sometimes means making ourselves uncomfortable. It is a challenge, like moving an established shrub rose is. 

Making space for others — whether it be social distancing or making room in our busy schedules to accommodate their needs — is a basic Christian principle.

“No one is to seek his own advantage, but rather that of his neighbor” (1 Corinthians 10:24, NASB).

God expects us not only to make room in our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters, and those who have not yet obeyed the Gospel, but also for the tools with which we are building up the Kingdom.

Make room in your schedule for spiritual things. You may have gotten out of the habit of attending church services in person, but there are myriad ways you can feed your soul. I am afraid that I haven’t been as diligent in seeking out sources of spiritual food for myself lately. 

You’ve heard the saying, “Seven days without meeting with the church makes one weak” (as opposed to one “week”). During this pandemic, it’s even MORE than weak! 

The final thing to make room for is the failings of those around us. When life hands me lemons, my first impulse is to bean life in the head with them! That is to say, when things are tough, we all tend to get harder to please and a little (or more than a little) grumpy.  Frustration leads to anger, anger can lead to hurtful words or behavior. 

While we may have plenty to be angry about, the anger must be directed at positive and constructive endeavors. 

“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4:26).

The purple Veilchenblau roses will be a thing of beauty for many years to come, and my friend is already propagating another “Jude” rosebush for me. The garden may suffer for a while because we had to make room for something important, and because I failed in my gamble against the weather. 

It’s all part of making it better overall though, isn’t it? Make some space!

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