The Rose of Jericho

Not so long ago, I’ve been visiting a good friend of mine, who, after he came back from Germany, where he was attending a conference, told me a lot of interesting stories:

- Come upstairs and look what I’ve brought from Cologne. I’ve bought this rose of Jericho for just a few euros.

The rose of Jericho? What an unusual name, I’ve never heard of it. This has to be some sort of a beautiful flower with a wondrous name. Considering my childhood’s admiration of creations of the Heavenly Creator, of course, I was interested and hastened upstairs to my interlocutor.

Psychologists say that things surrounding a man, things that he uses, can tell us a lot about his worries and his innermost thoughts. Even more can be told about yet unexpressed thoughts, his aspirations and worries about secret vibrations of a human soul by pictures created by him or music, literature or architecture, as well as everything he touches and makes – has the imprint of his soul, if we’re able to notice it. But in the works of art it’s even easier to notice. Those, created thousands years ago, indicate the author’s perception of the amazing world, understanding of the Heavenly spark of love in the nature that surrounds us. They were able to not just notice it, but they could as well convey and impart it to other people.

I noticed that many masterpieces were not infected by the virus of selfishness (arrogance), these jewels of art are an invaluable fruit, which leads the humanity to progress. Similar to a millet corn, which was born in the earth under influence of invisible forces, transforms into an ear and aspires to the sky, produces yet more precious corns, expanding the cycle of life.

Music can also tell us a lot about the inner world of a man, and, perhaps, a word “convey the message of the state of mind” will be more suitable here. It reminds me of an incident that happened to Niccolò Paganini within the walls of Parisian Opera house. And maybe it would be unnecessary to speak of the fact that maestro preferred to perform musical compositions on old instruments, recognized by wrights, that were highly appreciated.

That evening, Paganini was playing one of the world’s famous violins, that delighted the ear of the public present at the concert. But then all of a sudden after a break he acknowledged in surprise that at the place where his violin used to be, there was now the other one, not in any way remarkable and actually quite ordinary. Someone surreptitiously swapped the instruments during a break.

The personnel of the opera house hurried to look for the valuable missing thing, which soon turned out to be unsuccessful. Many people started to question, what is going to happen now, maybe it’d be wiser to call off the show? Then, the great maestro picked up the ordinary violin, walked up on a stage and addressed the amazed public:

- Ladies and gentlemen, I want to prove to you that music lives within a soul!

After saying that, he played the way he received an hours-long standing ovation from the public, which was amazed by a perfect performance and sound of the musical composition. Contemporaries of that period of history said that it was one of the most amazing concerts ever performed within the walls of the opera house…

In some cases, in order to understand the inner world of a child, psychologists advise to pay attention to his drawings. If he depicts himself with some animal, then, perhaps, he doesn’t have enough communication with parents or he’s in need of friends. If he draws himself too small or too far away from the center of the drawing, then the child probably has a low self-esteem, etc…

Visible things that surround us can tell us about something invisible. Of course, that will only happen if our soul is inclined to “see” and to “hear” such messages. And maybe the reason is that it’s not the surrounding world that won’t speak to us, but it’s us who are not ready or are not willing to hear those invisible messages, conveyed to us by nature, that we encounter all around in the course of life.

And generally speaking, should nature speak to us or, all the more so, prove something to us? The one who hath ears shall hear, the one who hath eyes shall see! I was always sincerely amused by a comic where two snowmen were depicted, where one addresses the other with the following words:

 

Perhaps the words of the snowman “the evolutionist” make You smile too. Or maybe behind the blue of the sky You can see a huge harmoniously created Universe. And behind this creation You could also see the Creator, which can be Your Heavenly Father, if You accept his love with belief. Or does Your world still rest on three whales?

On my own behalf, I can say that the names of the three bases the progressive life is built on are: “Faith, Hope, Love”. And the pure love, not tainted by selfishness, is the biggest of these virtues.

But not just distant stars and galaxies can tell us about the Great Creator. Simple dandelion at Your feet is a marvelous creation, which humanity has no strength to recreate with all its powerful laboratories, but humanity has learned to modify it that I doubt it can be attributed to an undoubtful advantage of the given invention. And still at the same time, if the world around us is so beautiful, then how beautiful is the One, Who created it?

I like being alone with nature. I like enjoy the greatness of mountains, listen to the murmur of the sea, walk in the woods, breathe sweet aroma and witness the beauty of flowers, whose every flower imparts the message of love from our Creator to us. “But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!” Luca 12:28.

I definitely love flowers. Thinking about it this way, I walked upstairs to visit my friend. And the next moment, I was greatly amazed by what I saw.

- This is the rose of Jericho – after saying that, he handed a small clew of grey color over to me, whose shape vaguely resembled a curled up hedgehog. Something close to our plant called tumbleweed, except that the top of this plant had its leaves tightened to the center.

On the picture: The rose of Jericho

 

- And this is the rose of Jericho? – I asked him again in surprise. Frankly speaking, I expected to see something beautiful, unusual, mysterious overseas wonder that could surprise and fascinate me with its astonishing appearance. But, the interesting peculiarity of this plant consisted not in its appearance, but in something else. Growing in semidesert regions and even being deprived of any roots, it could be driven by a force of the wind for far distances, be deprived of humidity for many days, months or even decades! Lying in the dust under the scorching sunbeams it had an appearance of an absolutely shriveled and lifeless herbarium from a school laboratory research in a botany class. Still, in the depth of this small grey clew there was a little drop of life. The one, that gives an invisible impulse to the whole plant, as soon as it absorbs the vivifying humidity.

The trick is we can see the miraculous transformation of the “Cinderella” in a few days. When instead of a grey lifeless clew, we’ll see a green and even blooming plant!

If one fills a small saucer with water and places the plant in it, then literally the next day, the small bush will not only unwrap and straighten its petals, but it will also turn green. And yet soon it will be covered by small flowers. That’s the interesting peculiarity of the rose of Jericho – it conveys a small spark of life for days and years until it’s given humidity so then it can restore itself and bloom.

Generally speaking, the life of a man also has its time of flourishing, shriveling and growth. But what kind of hope of flourishing can a man have without Jesus Christ?

What hope of resurrection can a man have without Jesus Christ? What hope of blossoming without a vital water of life? And if one doesn’t have it, where will he take it from? There’s a solution! Jesus Christ spoke of Himself: “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:37-38.

Also, in the Book of Revelation 22:17, we may read “Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Freely! The God’s Son – Jesus Christ gives life to everyone who comes to Him with repentance and belief, just like water gives life to every tree, which reaches out for vital humidity with its roots, ready to fill itself with it.

Let him that is athirst come to Him and take the water of life for free! For belief, for God’s grace, for the great God’s mercy. Would it be wise to reject God’s offer of salvation? Would it be wise to decline the invitation of the Son of God?

One can spend a long time in the desert, be thrown overboard of life and not see anything good in the future, supposing that all the best was left in the past, but what if there was no “best” at all in life? But there’s a solution – in Jesus Christ there’s not only a new beginning, there’s a true beginning of life in Jesus!

If You are tired and You seek peace with God, returning to Him as to Your Heavenly Father, if You realize that Your eternal spirit won’t be able to dispense with the water of life, then hurry up to Jesus, while You still have time. Hurry up to Jesus as through Him You’ll find peace with God and acquire peace for Your soul, and just in the same way as a withered rose of Jericho is able to turn green and blossom after filled with vital humidity, Your soul will have its thirst quenched by a vital humidity of the Word of God with the help of guidance of the Holy Spirit that will change everything in Your life: both Your spirit and Your soul and Your body will be refreshed and renewed. You will blossom at the source of a living water, accepting the hope of an eternal life from God. Hurry up to Jesus, my friend, go to Him and drink, take the water of life for free, while You hear this calling!

“Come, all of you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.”

“Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.”

“Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.”

Isaiah 55:1-3.Amen.

Michael Saliy

Translated into English by Yukhim Bogdanovsky.

Editor: Sharon Watkins

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