Love The People With The Roses

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“We drew a circle that shut me out–
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win;
We drew a circle that took him in!”

                                                                   Edwin Markham

Things are not always what they seem to be.  Patience is one of the most important of all personal character traits of successful and happy people.  The wisest of all people know better than to rush things.  They know that it is far better to wait upon the LORD and give Him time and room enough to conduct His own affairs as relates to what they are desiring to happen to them.

God is never in a hurry.  He is never rushed.  He works on His own timeline  and in His own manner regardless of what we desire Him to do for us.  If you think you can demand anything of God you are mistaken.  Patience and obedience to your LORD is what always gets His attention.

Pastor and author, Max Lucado, tells a beautiful personal story about a U.S. Army GI on active duty who thought he knew what he was doing about  developing a personal relationship with a beautiful young woman.  He learned the hard way that he didn’t really know what he thought he knew.

When you are not in a personal hurry to have things go your way, most often you will receive a greater reward or blessing from your Creator.

Listen now as Pastor Lucado relates this wonderful story:

John J. Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his U.S. Army uniform, and studied the crowds of people making their way through Grand Central Station in downtown New York City.  He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn’t, the girl with the rose.

His interest in her had begun thirteen months before in a Florida public library.  Taking a book off a shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the words of the book, but with the notes penciled in the margin of the first page.  The extraordinarily soft handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and an insightful mind.  In the front of the book, he discovered the previous owner’s name, Miss Hollis Maynell.  

With a great amount of time and a masterful effort, he located her address.  She lived in New York City.  He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to correspond.  The very next day he was shipped out overseas for service in the Army in World War II.  During the next year and one month the two grew to know each other through the mail.  Each letter they exchanged was a seed falling on a fertile heart.  A real romance was budding.

John Blanchard requested a real photograph of this lady, but she refused.  She felt that if he really cared, it wouldn’t matter what she really looked like.

When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled their first meeting–7:00 P.M. at the Grand Central Station in New York.  “You’ll recognize me,” she wrote, “by the red rose I’ll be wearing on my lapel.”

So at precisely 7:00 P.M. he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he loved, but whose face he’d never seen.

I’ll let Mr. Blanchard tell you what actually happened.

A young woman was coming toward me.  Her figure long and slim.  Her blonde hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were as blue as flowers.  Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in her pale green suit, she was like springtime come alive.  I started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose.  As I moved, a small provocative smile turned her lips.  “Going my way soldier?” she murmured.  Almost uncontrollably I made one step closer to her, and then I saw Hollis Maynell.

She was standing almost directly behind the girl.  A woman well past 40, she had greying hair tucked under a worn hat.  She was more than plump, her thick-ankled feet thrust onto low-heeled shoes.  The girl in the green suit was quickly walking away.  I felt as though I was split in two.  So keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned and upheld mine.

And there she stood.  Her pale plump face was gentle and sensible , her grey eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle.  I did not hesitate.  My fingers gripped the small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to identify me to her.  This would not be love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been and must ever be grateful.

I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman, even though while I spoke I felt chocked by the bitterness of my disappointment.  “I’m Lieutenant John J. Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell.  I am so glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?”

The woman’s face broadened into a tolerant smile.  “I don’t know what this is all about, son,” she answered, “but the young lady in the green suit who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat.  And she said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should go and tell you that she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street.  She said it was some kind of a test!”

It’s not too difficult to understand and admire Miss Maynell’s wisdom… 

“Tell me whom you love,” Houssaye wrote,
“and I will tell you who you are.”

Blessings and Encouragement to You…………….

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