Among a vast and mighty field of roses stood a lush green hill, tall and emerged like an island in the midst of an endless sea of flowers. Upon the hill stood two brothers, one elder, one younger. The elder was strong. The younger was tender. Together they watched the sun descend closer and closer to the field’s flowery horizon.
Far in the distance, below the descending sun, stood a second hill protruding monolithically from the expanse of roses. Between the two hills, a narrow vein of tall wheat ran straight through the rose field, connecting them together.
While enjoying the breathtaking view, the brothers noticed a tall figure standing atop the opposing hill. The figure began to beckon to them. He then called to them, revealing the familiar voice of their beloved Papa. He continued beckoning to the brothers, urging them to come join Him on the opposing hill.
From the brothers’ current vantage, the journey through the rose field to Papa’s hill appeared beautiful and wondrous!
“That’s a long way to Papa!” Mentioned the elder.
“Not too far for me!” Replied the younger.
With a smile, the elder said, “Then let us go. But let’s stay within the wheat”
Eager to be with his dear Papa, the younger brother shot down the hill into the field, running as fast as his small legs would allow, trying his best to stay within the vein of tall wheat.
As he ran through the dense wheat and tall grass, the younger brother soon realized he could no longer see the hill ahead. The wheat was so dense and so tall he could see no more than a couple feet ahead. He struggled through the wheat—his small legs straining. Becoming tired, and somewhat restless from not seeing the complete path ahead, he began to wonder if the vein was really taking him to Papa’s hill. Without being able to see the hill, there was no way of knowing.
Soon the younger started to second guess the vein and speculated if it was going the wrong direction. He began looking on both sides of the vein, through the gaps in the rose bushes to see if he could find Papa’s hill. He noticed the rose bushes grew differently than the wheat, the thicket of flowers offered spaces of bare ground between bushes so that a small child, like himself, could easily move through—not to mention, the idea of walking through a field of charming roses seemed superior to walking through dense wheat. So, in attempt to improve his situation, the younger moved into the expanse of rose bushes, pushing toward his desired direction.
Upon entering, the beautiful roses he had observed above quickly vanished from sight, replaced by large minaciously thorny stems, protruding in all directions. It was dim—with only fragmented pockets of lights shining thought the dense leaves above.
With as much bravery as he could conjure, the tender boy worked his way gingerly through the thorn-covered rods trying his best to move toward Papa’s hill. He could barely hear Papa’s voice, and he could not discern from what direction. After some distance, he became lost—unsure which direction to go. Avoiding the thorns surrounding him eventually became impossible. The once beautiful field with so much promise had now become a terrible, dark nightmare set on his demise.
Covered in pricks and cuts, the younger brother fell to the ground and began to cry. He could not find his way back to the wheat, and what was worse, he could not find Papa in this endless maze. He was sure that by this time his stronger elder brother would have made to the other hill with no problem, joyfully embracing Papa and enjoying the sunset. He longed to be there. . .How he longed to be out of the bramble of thorns and darkness.
Sometime after his fall into despair, feeling he was doomed to a torturous destruction, the tender boy heard a voice. A voice from behind him. It was a familiar voice. Turning to look through bleary tears, he saw Him. . . The one—whom he had left on the hill to venture through a rose field. The one—who did not fit through the small spaces in the rose thicket; nevertheless, the one—who was strong enough to break through. The one—who was his only possible hope of freedom. The only one—who knew where he was.
The elder brother had not gone on without him—he had stayed behind—watching, and following as his small, frail brother wandered through the tangle of barbs. Putting his strong hands around his younger, the elder lifted him high above the thorns and leaves, into the light—into those comforting arms. Wiping his tears and holding him close, the elder carried the younger above the hungry thorns and through the soft crimson-lit blossoms. The stinging blades pulled and cut through the elder’s flesh as he walked, but he did not stop. He did not slow. Blazing a trail of blood, breaking though the endless web of thorns, the elder made the long and abusive journey through the deadly thicket of thorns, until at last, he delivered the younger back to the safety of the wheat.
Then, while collapsing from the loss of blood and from agonizing pain, the elder lovingly pointed though the vein of wheat and said with a weak smile, “It’s not far now.”
With renewed hope and wisdom, the younger boy raced through the dense wheat until it broke before a mammoth hill covered in green lush grass. Running to the top, the younger didn’t stop until his Papa was holding him tight, enveloping him with hugs and kisses.
Father and son, together, they looked back at the journey the tender son had just taken. Once again, it looked as beautiful and glorious as it had from the previous hill, amidst the endless see of blossoming red flowers.
“He did it for me,” cried the boy, now with tears of joy streaming down his cheeks. “I’m here because of Him!”
With similar tears of His own, Papa held the tender boys face with both hands and said with a big smile, “I know . . . I know. . . and I’m so glad He did.”
In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them . . . Isaiah 63:9
The rose is considered a symbol of balance. The beauty of this flower expresses promise, hope, and new beginnings. It is contrasted by thorns symbolizing defense, loss, and thoughtlessness.
The field of roses can represent the balance of life. While appearing beautiful from its onset, we are soon faced with the necessary pain and loss inevitably waiting for us within. Falling prey to the thorns below is part of the journey toward wisdom, an opportunity granted to us by our Elder Brother, who forfeited all to carry us back home. This is true no matter how far into the endless thicket we may venture. We may never fully comprehend just how much He sacrificed for us to have this opportunity to learn and grow from our mistakes. He sacrificed all for each one of us.
Wheat is symbolic of the renewed life or resurrection, the cycle of the seasons and the cycle of life. It is also used as a symbol of charity and love. The younger brother was offered the vein of wheat as a way to return to his father on the opposing hill. The boy became anxious when he could not see the hill from within the wheat. Rather than continue through the dense wheat, he decided to venture through the spaces in the rose thicket instead. When thought lost, he was carried back to the wheat through the sacrifice of his Elder brother—like being renewed of life through God's loving sacrifice.