While in prison, I was given an assignment to clean and rake around a flower bed. While doing this work, I noticed a very ugly bulb on the top of a rose bush I was working around. It was dark green with brown and gray spots all over it.

The next day, I was given the same assignment and it was to be carried out for the remainder of the week. Again, I saw the rose bush with its ugly bulb. When I looked, the edges had started to split and break apart and a touch of red could be seen. On Wednesday, the top of the bulb had opened to reveal a red bulb inside its ugly exterior.

Again, on Thursday, I went to work on the beds but this time went straight to the bush to see any changes. I was not disappointed. It had unveiled its first two petals. The next day, Good Friday, I could not wait for work call. The rose had burst into fullness—a beautiful and fragrant deep red rose about two-and-a-half to three inches wide.

Something deep inside me told me there was more than what I had witnessed with my eyes. Why had this rose gotten my attention at a time in my life when nothing seemed to matter to me? Then I remembered that about a month before, I had asked God to reveal Himself to me. I thought about it all that day, trying to see what God was trying to show me through that rose. Late that night, God revealed to me that He was showing me my life.

In my past behaviors and life of sin, I was ugly and it took a Job-like experience of losing everything to open my eyes and break me; to see my selfishness and sinful ways; to realize that there’s more than the here-and-now. This was when I was called to be something more through Jesus.

The next day when I saw a change in the rose, He showed me that this is a reflection of where I am now. Thanks to the changes God is bringing in me, and finally calling for me to be a beautiful red rose—a rose in the midst of thorns. Yes, even I, and ugly bulb, can become a beautiful rose, but only through Jesus Christ.
~ Lee V. Warren 15692 Bonne Terre, Missouri