A Rose in the Dark

roseWinter had not been pleasant. Even the old-timers said it had been awhile since we’ve seen so much white. The snow storms in Wyoming sometimes cause the roads to close. At one point, all roads out of town were closed. It might have been at night when I wouldn’t have been going anywhere anyway but I could still feel the effect of it. Trapped. Loss of freedom. What if I wanted to go for a midnight drive to a neighboring state? Too bad. I felt stuck. It wasn’t just from the snow storm either.

For some time I have felt lost. Like I am drifting without any real goal to head to. Or like I am constantly in fog. Or a mist of darkness.

Since the beginning of November I developed a habit of checking the road report. Not that I had any plans to travel I just wanted to see when my decision to not travel was made for me by the weather. On Friday I did my daily check and saw a break in the weather for the weekend. I decided to take my monthly trip to the temple that weekend instead of waiting and running the risk of not being able to go. Since it was the first weekend of the month, I also decided to overlap my fast and my trip.

My plea was simple. “Please help me not feel lost anymore.”

After I came out of the temple, I dug my camera out of my bag. I always take a picture for my year end collage. The problem with this temple is the fact I am in its district. This means I attend it quite often and I am having trouble coming up with different photo angles. It has to look like I took it that day not a file photo.

I walked around the building and noticed a car flip a U-turn. I didn’t pay too much attention to it though because I was focused on getting a picture. Even when a woman stopped the car, climbed out, and dug something out of the back I didn’t really do more than notice. However, as I walked closer to her she turned to me with a red flower and handed it to me. “We were asked to give these out to brighten someone’s day,” she said.

I thanked her. My first thought? It might be some Young Women project or something in conjunction with Valentine’s Day.

She drove off and I took my pictures. I put the flower on the passenger seat and drove home. When I arrived home I took the flower in and set it on the counter. “Oh, this is a nice flower,” I noticed for the first time. “It’s a rose not a carnation. Wow! That was a nice thing to do.” I put it in a glass of water to let it enjoy life as long as possible.

The next day during testimony meeting one of the youth in my ward stood up. He mentioned how important it is to recognize the hand of God in all things. I’m not proud of this fact, but a little bitterness rose up in me as I thought of my current state.

The rest of church was rather ordinary.

The next morning while at work I reflected on my weekend. My plea. The rose. The testimony.

Oh, I thought, I think there is a connection. There was a lifeline thrown to me and I swam right past it. I’ve been so focused on what is missing that I missed what was offered.

Ouch. How ungrateful can I be?

I am thankful for the rose in the dark and the testimony that shined a light on it.  Even if it took me a couple of days to connect the dots.

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