Be a Rose

by | May 13, 2014 | Example, God's Hands, Witnessing

Staying with the gap-toothed-smile theme a little longer …

I went to the dentist this morning. Don’t worry, I’m not going into the realms of drilling and screaming! This little idea came to me in the waiting room (before the drilling and screaming J)

The dental surgery I go to is actually in an old private house. Well, I say private but it belonged to a doctor who lived and died a long time ago, so part of it was probably his surgery, but part would have been his family residence.

Sitting in what is now a waiting room and trying not to stare at the other nervous occupants of the room my gaze drifted to the ceiling. The thing that illuminates that room now is a fluorescent strip light – but it hangs from the most beautiful plasterwork ceiling rose.

The “rose” is about four feet across. It’s a circle within a circle within a circle and each of them is intricately decorated. There are fleur-de-lis, sunbursts, crowns, swirls and a variety of flowers. A complicated, painstaking, elaborately ornate piece of work.

Now, I’ve seen such ceiling roses before but this was the first time I ever stopped to wonder – why? Why go to such expense? These days we poke a hole in the plasterboard, screw a little plastic cover in place and be done with it.

Why? Why? Why, go to all that bother?

Then I realised. When Doctor David Gage was working in my town, most homes would have been lit by candles or oil lamps. Merchants and the like might have had gas lamps on their sitting room walls (but would still have taken candles upstairs.)

Doctor Gage was a man of some prestige. He was known to own the second motor car ever to make an appearance in our town. He would certainly have been amongst the first to have electricity in his home.

We wouldn’t go to such lengths to hang a light bulb from our ceilings. But imagine if you lived in a world of tallow and wick, of flickering shadows and finding your way in the dark. Bright, clean light at the flick of a switch would be something to see. More importantly, for folk like the doctor, it would be something to have seen in your house. And a wonder like that would need showing off. It would need “framing,” it would need a backdrop worthy of the miracle it seemed to be.

So, we have the plaster ceiling rose.

But Doctor Gage’s house is not so magnificent. Mansions and stately manor houses would have endowed their electric lights with even greater decoration.

Ta-dah! Look, light! And see how we present it (and our own opulent life-style) to you!

All that for a light bulb.

Such ornate decoration started me thing about churches and the great cathedrals – and the same theory applied! A new light had come into the world and the church presented Him magnificently. They hired the best craftsmen of their day, spared no expense, and built lasting monuments to His glory.

Whether He would have wanted that or not is another story.

Now we come to the crux of the story. If you are a man or woman of faith, how do you present it to the world? A light like no other shines for you. How do you present it? Please don’t tell me Jesus is the equivalent of a fly-specked 60 watt bulb dangling from a cupboard ceiling somewhere in your life.

Present Him to the world! You don’t need to be a master craftsman, you don’t need to be skilled with gold leaf; your faith doesn’t need to be encrusted with precious stones.

Present Him humbly. Present Him with love. His light outshines all the electric bulbs in the world.

Go on, be a rose for Jesus. And let him shine from you!

David McLaughlan copyright 2009


Be a Rose