Life From Thorns

I once knew a girl from Wisconsin who blinked naked.

She confessed to pulling out her eyelashes because she couldn’t help it.

Although it seemed strange to me, a popular phrase at the time, spilled like dangerous rapids into my mind and a death-trap out of my mouth:

“Whatever floats your boat.”

Who knew barren eyelids were only a symptom of a wasteland life?

Standing on opposite sides of a barbed-wire fence, the lush green pasture beneath me lay in stark contrast to the fallow ground under my country neighbor.

“Aren’t they pretty? I want to decorate one for Christmas!” She pointed to a patch of Cyran tumbleweeds beside her.

She was so earnest I didn’t have the heart to tell her by winter they’d be nothing but spine corpses. Or that was one of the weirdest things I’d ever heard.

So, I did what any damaged and empty, person would do. I rejected her. For good.

By December 25, her brother died by suicide. She and the rest of her detached family-like the prickly bushes she loved-rolled away.

The next spring, I heard an old, old story about a hill far away and a Savior who came from glory.

That baby born in a manger I’d celebrated the season before, turned out to be God’s Son all grown up. Sent from heaven to earth as the message of God’s love.

As proof, He went about doing good; healing the sick, opening blind eyes and deaf ears, and even raising the dead back to life.

So, why did people hate Him?

And if He was all-powerful, what good could possibly come from His horrific beatings, torture, and death on a splintered tree?

Jesus spiked to a cross. A thorn-crowned King.

Dying to save the world.

Dying to save me.

How bizarre!

That is one of the weirdest things I’d ever heard.

Life from thorns?

So, I did what any damaged, empty person CAN do. I accepted Him. For good.

Winter’s lingered in my corner of the world. Record-breaking snowfall left our region freezer-burned and lifeless. And though it’s officially Spring, the days have been colored in dismal gray. Like a tombstone.

Yesterday, a stinging spat and hurt feelings between my husband me brought the same.

“Come here, there’s something I want to show you!” My husband called from the open garage door.

Shaking off my resentment and hurt, I reluctantly followed. He stopped near the utility boxes on the side of our house.

Photo courtesy of Glenda Zylinski

Was that a tumbleweed nest?

How weird!

“Is that what killed our phone and internet connections?” I sighed.

My husband shook his head.

“Look closer.”

My breath caught.

Photo courtesy of Glenda Zylinski

Life from thorns.

Photo courtesy of Glenda Zylinski


Author: Glenda Zylinski

Glenda Zylinski lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Paul. They have two grown sons and two grandchildren.

10 thoughts on “Life From Thorns”

  1. This is awesome! Life from thorns – Amen to that. And to have Mrs. Dove set up housekeeping in your little neighborhood …? Just another reminder about how much God loves us, and the peace that He brings. I can’t wait for the new babies.

  2. How beautifully said. My heart aches for that girl. How long ago was that? Have you seen her again?

    I ache over times I’ve rejected people similarly. May God show them the love I haven’t. God bless you for your transparency. 🙂

    1. Rebekah, though I’ve never seen her again, I think of C. anytime I see tumbleweeds. (Which is often in our neck of the sagebrush.) Before you were born. Long time. Yes, may God show the ignored and forgotten His Love. Thank you, for sharing it with me. Clinging to Philippians 3:14.

  3. I just love how the Father teaches! So sweetly, so gently and so personally. New life lay inside those thorns. New life is what He wore them upon His head to bring us. As one of my favorite poems states:

    “Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine.”

    Glenda, may His light shine brightly even when Spring hasn’t sprung! Thank you for sharing so beautifully your heart!

    1. No better teacher than our heavenly Father, for sure! What a treasure to think that the deeper the wells the brighter the stars shine. Thank you, Callie, for taking a turn on the path with me and parting with a beautiful benediction. Philemon 25.

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