My uncle John called his late mother-in-law “Rosebud” (her name was Rose). Entering the room with a big smile, he’d call out, “How ya doin’ Rosebud?” She would beam at the tenderness of that name and the love that came with it.
I snapped this photo of rosebuds because they made me think of the difference between how we see ourselves and how God sees us.
A rosebud is beautiful in its potential to become a big red rose someday. But it’s not there yet. When we look at ourselves, we sometimes see only our faults, our sins, our flaws. All those parts that we hope will bloom into virtue someday…..but we’re not there yet.
We want to be Christ-like. But yesterday we told someone off who promised to help put together a bookcase, then didn’t show up and didn’t call. Or we gave the slowpoke grocery cashier a glare of disapproval.
At our last meeting, a member of my Virtue Circle said something that has stuck with me: “We all have free will. We can choose to accept what other people do with their free will.” Her point was that what other people do or don’t do doesn’t have that much to do with us. And if we avoid taking personally what others do and focus on the beautiful things God’s doing for us instead, we’ll have more peace.
God sees the rose
God sees the rose. God is outside of time and sees us as we will be in heaven – when we are finally and forever in full bloom – in his glory.
No one would pick a bouquet of rosebuds. But we like to mix them in with the flowers because anticipating the future blossoms adds to the beauty of a bouquet.
Our own “rosebuds” don’t need to discourage us. They’re beautiful in their way because they remind us how much we need God. If we’re keeping close to the source of all flourishing – Jesus – in prayer, Confession, and in the Mass, we can afford to see our flaws as so many buds that are poised to burst into bloom — in God’s time.