Roses in the Rough

If then any man is in Christ, he is a new creature.

–2 Corinthians 5:17–

            I picked up the bud vase from Mary’s kitchen table and inspected the beautiful artificial roses it contained.

            “Can you guess what those roses are made of?” Mary asked.



            “Recycled paper?”

            “Guess again.”

            “I give up, Mary!”

            “Elephant dung.”

            “You’ve got to be kidding!”

            “No,” replied Mary.  “Elephant droppings are apparently very high in fiber, and there’s a company that uses that fiber to make roses.”

            That got me to thinking.  How could someone even think of transforming elephant excrement into fanciful flowers?  What kind of imaginative intellect could see potential in pachyderm poo?  Obviously a human intellect—an intellect made in the image and likeness of God!

            In Isaiah 1:18, we read: “Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord: though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool.”  God is obviously more creative than any human intellect.  When He looks upon a sinful human soul, He sees the potential for purity.  He longs to clean each of us up and to transform us into someone far better than we could ever imagine.  The process begins with baptism and continues with confession.

            So the next time I find myself before a mirror, I can take a good, hard look at myself and say:

                        Despite your good looks and eloquence too,

                        Your vices are worse than elephants’ poo.

                        Your sins need addressing.

                        So start your confessing,

                        For God can transform even you!