Jesus walked up to me in a vision this morning. At first I thought He was wearing a “Pirates of Penzance” outfit, since He had on a 1700’s style shirt with the frilly collar. Then I saw Him put on a leather jacket, and I realized he was wearing leather chaps. He looked very chic, and I thought to myself, “Wow! What a cool outfit! It could be a new fashion trend.”
He put his arm around me and pointed out in front of us. I can still smell the leather of His jacket!
In the direction that He pointed was a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. It looked like a rutted cart path from a western movie, complete with some tall grass growing in the middle and on both sides. There was nothing else, just the path and some trees in the distance. It went on forever.
He said, “You see that long road in front of you?” I nodded yes. He asked me, “What do you want to see on it?”
I looked out at this road in front of us which stretched out eternally. It was a blank canvas.
Understanding that our words frame our world (see Proverbs 18), I thought about it seriously for a moment, not really knowing how to answer, or what to say. I didn’t really know where He was going with this, so I just started spitting out some things.
I said, “Success. Gratitude. Trees!” I laughed. Then it hit me, and it came out of my mouth, “LOVE.”
Jesus said, “That’s it! LOVE.” Immediately I saw a swelling of flowers, roses, beginning at my feet and reaching up and out in front of me, spilling forward. They were red roses piled on top of each other, looking very much like a wave of blood, but it was a wave of love. It flowed very quickly, and covered the path in front of us, going on into eternity.
He continued, “For you to receive love, you first have to give it.” I nodded again, realizing exactly how true this statement was, adhering to His own principles of sowing and reaping (see Galatians 6:7, Luke 6:38). “For you to see love on the path in front of you, give love. Lots of it. Love everyone, unconditionally. Slather them with love.” I really liked the way He said, “Slather”!
I thought of the scripture references in 1st Corinthians 13, that say when everything else is gone, love is the only thing that will remain, for all eternity.
Again, I nodded, shaking my head in agreement. I said, “Please, Jesus! Show me how to love! How do I do that? How do I love like you?”
He replied, “Give everyone a rose.”
It was then that I realized that the swelling of love that I saw on the road, a tsunami of blood red roses, was an “adding unto”. It was a multiplication of all the roses of love that He gives out every day through us, His children. Each one individually is just a small part of His fragrant bouquet of love. Added together, it multiplies, taking on a life of its own, flowing out in front of us and forward into all eternity. It “slathers” everyone in our path!
Roses are expensive! It will cost you to love someone unconditionally. But our Lord and King has spoken, and He said to give and you will receive (Luke 6:38). Love is something that ALL of us are able to give, regardless of sex, race, financial status or location. We all crave and need love; and we all have Love to give!
The hardest rose to give is the first one. It will get easier and easier, and after a period of time, it will become your nature to do this. Love someone unconditionally today. Value him as a person, and just love him.
I challenge all of us today, including myself, to reach out to someone, and give that person a rose: The Rose of Sharon. Their life will never be the same, and neither will yours!
Blessings and love,