“The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” (1 Cor. 15:26″


My chair on the back porch has a special view. Between the Sasanquas I can see a brilliant orangey colored rose bush. This week the blooms have been particularly noticeable. It is a beautiful rose. It is the only rose bush in our garden that doesn’t belong to us. This rose belongs to a friend. It’s planted on top of the ashes of her oldest son. There is a stone there too. I can’t really see the stone but I can definitely see the rose blooms. I can’t look at them without thinking about the hurt they mask.

The son was lost in a tragic shooting. Senseless from start to finish. He was a handsome boy and his mother loved him very much as mothers tend to do. To lose him not far into his twenties was heartbreaking. Another case of a gun being handy but not needed and yet used. I wonder how many will die before we decide that some control is needed and that using a gun is different than owning one.

I have five children, sixteen grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. All of them are alive and healthy. None of their ashes are buried in my back yard or anyone else’s. I am so blessed and when I look at the orange rose I am reminded of just how blessed I am and how sorry I am for all the mothers and fathers who have lost children to the wrong end of a gun. It saddens me that we can’t live in peace with each other and that hatred is among us causing us to kill one another. I think of Cain who murdered his brother and how often that has been repeated. We are all brothers; why do we want to hurt one another?

Death is indeed an enemy. I’m so glad it will be destroyed. I think hate is an enemy too. It could be destroyed if we would just learn to love. Both emotions are taught. Love wishes no wrong to another. Had there been love instead of hate, that young man, who’s death marker is in my yard, would still be alive and neither his mother nor I would be sadden by the rose.

What is in your heart? What are you teaching in your home, love or hate? Jesus has destroyed death and sharing his love can destroy hate.

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