August 23, 2018, Thursday.
I just listened to the song “The Rose.”
There are three people I think of when I hear that beautifully written and beautifully sung song:
Amanda McBroom who wrote it;
Bette Midler who sang it;
Sonya (not her real name) who quoted it in her valedictorian address.
And One Verse:
“I AM the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”
-The Song of Solomon 2:1 (KJV).
“A Supernatural Love Story . . .
Incident at Park Bench . . .
The Parable of little sprout, ‘the one who heard’ . . . ”
Please see the Footnotes section at the end of story for the reference to: “the one who heard.”
This is about a lowly little flower who had a heart and soul and spirit bigger than anyone could see. Someone who was having lunch at a park bench dropped a seed from something they were eating. It was unusual for someone to be eating dandelions, but people do eat them. And the seed somehow got planted near the park bench, but just enough out of the way that it was able to take root and absorb moisture and begin to sprout without getting stepped on and crushed. (see Matthew 13 ESV concerning falling seeds). No one noticed the little guy. He was so small and so silent. But, eventually, he began to hear. It might have been the loud noises of police and fire and ambulance sirens in the distance that first awakened him; but, it was music that touched his little heart and soul and made a listener of him, and a thinker too. People walking by, and others sitting at that park bench, often played music on their cell phones and electronic devices and Little Sprout could hear it. And it really rocked his little soul. He wanted to move to the rhythm of the songs, but he couldn’t take a single step. And he wanted to sing too, but, he couldn’t make a sound nor say a single word. All he could do was listen and yearn with his little heart. He especially loved love songs. “The Power of Love” was one of his favorites. Although, to be honest, it used to get stuck in his head and play over and over. That was difficult for him. And an instrumental version of that song also touched him sweetly so that he felt like crying and shaking at the same time. He didn’t even know the word emotion but he was having them. And then one day something special happened, something different. A little bee came humming by him. Her name was Brenda. She caught a sent from his bright yellow blossom and circled right back around to find out what was up. She landed right on his yellow top and checked him out. And then, just as suddenly as she arrived, she sprang away. Sprout was deeply touched by Brenda, but, he had no way of telling her that she had made a beautiful impression by her brief visit. He couldn’t forget her. She was the only one who ever touched him. All he could do was ponder the experience of her stay. When he heard the song, “One Moment in Time,” he thought of Brenda. Then, he started having other emotions. He wanted to reach out and touch someone or be touched by someone, but, he couldn’t do it. Finally, one day, someone sat down at the bench. She was a Christian, and she loved to listen to hymns on her smart phone. Sprout would listen, too. And that was how he first heard about God: Amazing Grace. Rock of Ages. How Great Thou Art. Sprout became a believer before he even became a sinner. He was beginning to acquire some understanding. He knew he had a Maker. And His name was God. He wanted to learn more about Him, but he didn’t know how. Then he heard a new song that he could really relate to because it was about his own kind: “The Rose”; not that he was a glamorous flower like that one; but he knew he was related somehow. Now he had something new to ponder: Love. He wondered about that lyric, “Love, it is a flower…” He wondered if he was love. He felt so strongly that he wanted to love and be loved that he yearned for someone to pluck him right out of the soil, even if it meant he would die soon afterwards, just to have that “one moment in time” of being held in someone’s hand and being cherished for a while, and to go along on a walk with that one who cared enough for him to stoop down to his lowly place on earth and reach out for him. But, his Maker didn’t want him to die. He wanted him to live! Then something new happened to him. A teacher came into the park with her students. They were on a botany field trip. The teacher spotted Sprout and immediately pointed him out to her students, saying, “That is a dandelion, boys and girls. Notice the bright yellow color of the flower against the background of green grass. Those are complimentary colors. (She may have been an art teacher, too.) In some cultures, dandelions are used as food. And wine can also be made from them.” One of the students had a notion to pluck Sprout, but the teacher spoke up emphatically, saying, “Danny-Boy, don’t do that! Let him live. Everything God has created that has life wants to live, even flowers. And they give glory to God just by being lovely and gentle and peaceful.” Sprout didn’t know whether to be thankful to continue living, or disappointed that he hadn’t been taken and held. Then he realized, “My Maker knows what He’s doing. It must be as the teacher said, I am to live. Maybe love will come later. I wish I was a student. I like that teacher. She saved my life. And she can speak. I could learn a lot with her! Now if only I could learn to read. And if someone would write to me. I could learn so much about love and the power of love…and about God my Maker.” And then, someone came into the park with a Book. And he was reading from that Book, out loud, so others would hear him. And the man was talking and reading about God! And Sprout perked right up to listen to every word. He was talking about his Maker! And the man kept saying things about someone named Jesus… Jesus Christ. And suddenly it occurred to Sprout that Jesus Christ was the name of God, during His incarnation! Sprout was so excited to know God’s Name, to know who he believed in! And then, a very frightening feeling came into Sprout’s little soul. It was a very loud noise. And the man who was making the noise was a park grounds keeper. He cared nothing about the preacher talking about God. And he drove his power lawn mower directly toward the park bench area. And Sprout realized he was about to die. And he felt both helpless and terrified. But just then, a mighty thought came to him from his Saviour. He understood—the eyes of his understanding having been opened by the grace of God through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ–that he only had to trust in God, in Jesus Christ’s Name, and he would be saved, no matter what happened to his body. So, as the lawn mower noise kept getting louder and louder, Sprout just kept his heart and mind and soul and spirit centered-and-still on the Name of Jesus Christ, his Saviour. And suddenly Sprout’s little body was nowhere to be found; but Sprout was still alive in his consciousness. His spirit and soul and mind and heart were intact. And he could walk now, in the Spirit, and in the spiritual body that Jesus gave him as soon as he knew His Name and believed in Him. And he could speak also, in the Spirit. And he could see, too. He realized with joy unspeakable that he had been born again. And that the life he had yearned for in his heart earlier was now becoming a reality, thanks be to God. And he remembered the words of that Christian lady’s hymn in the park:
“Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!
Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun, [or Son]
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun.”
(a Christian hymn, by John Newton, 1725-1807.)
And, from “Rock of Ages”
“While I draw this fleeting breath, when my eyes shall close in death
When I rise to worlds unknown, and behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.”
- “Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure.
- Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.
- Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.
- While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.”
“Sprout’s New Life: August Dawn and April Rose”
She came walking so gracefully toward him and extended her hand saying, “Good morning August Dawn. My name is April Rose and I’m here to help you in every way.” August held her outstretched hand gently and immediately felt a joy and a thrill he had never felt before. And a smile blossomed upon his face that he’d never known before. He was speechless with wonder. “I’m also here to introduce you to your new-life-place, August. It is called ChristLand and it is in the Kingdom of God. August? Will you walk with me around the Lake?”
August: “Yes, April Rose, I would love to walk with you around the Lake.” And so, they began their walk. August immediately began hearing the sounds of the birds. And their sounds were to him like love songs. And each one touched his heart with the most beautiful emotions. August asked, “April, how is it that everything we hear is so beautiful and lovely?” “That is the very nature of everything here, August. God has made everything here new and lovely and perfect.” (Reader, see Revelation 21 and 22 ESV). August looked at April and saw that she was indeed perfectly beautiful and lovely. And the sound of her voice was as lovely beyond words to describe. “April? What is the name of this lake?” “It is called Lake Higher Water, August.” “Is anyone else here, April?” “Yes, everyone you have ever known is here, August, provided they believe in Christ our Saviour.” “April? I would love to see Charcoal, the Lord’s cat, who lived with me for almost all her life, in an earlier life.” “August?”, April said ‘with a look of all sweet accord,’ “I who speak to you now, am she.” August looked into April’s eyes and experienced a deep insight of recognition and connectedness that they both felt to the depth of their heart and soul. August asked, “April, are you Charcoal, my cat?” April smiled faintly and replied, ”August?, Charcoal is in the past, just as Little Sprout is in the past. God has made all things new.” “Then, who are you, April?” April rested her arms on August’s shoulders and softly said, “August? Would you love to spend Eternity finding out Who Christ is, who I am and who you are, and how God’s Kingdom is?” And August replied, “I would love to spend Eternity with you, April, doing just that, in God’s/Christ’s Kingdom.” And April clasped August’s hand in hers as they resumed their walk. And a smile blossomed on her face. And her heart became light. And she pondered an old thought of hers and revised it: “And joy more than tears is now comforting me.” Thank you, heavenly Father, in our Lord Jesus’ Name…And April began to swing August’s hand and arm back and forth like a happy school girl. And she wasn’t embarrassed to be a child-at-heart again. And she began to laugh again for the first time in ages. And August asked her, “April, what has gotten into you? You seem so different!” And April replied with a heart-felt smile of gratitude, “Something is finally beginning to dawn on me… August.” “And what is that, April?” “I believe it is love, August.”
May the author/song writer of the beautiful song, “The Rose,” Amanda McBroom, forgive me for taking some liberty, in Christ’s Name, and, for His purpose, changing some words -just for this story.
Just remember in the winter
[near] beneath the [silent] snows
Lies the seed that with the [Son’s] Love
In the Spring becomes the Rose.”
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, thanks be to God and the Father by Him.
(Ephesians 5:20; Colossians 3:17)
The writer of this story didn’t exactly create it; he sort of imagined it in seed form; and wrote what he was imagining, as it sort of blossomed into a love story…or it was like listening to a beautiful love song being played by a Christian lady at a park bench…
“God is love” it is written. Perhaps He gave it…I don’t know… -see 1John 4:16.
“If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.” -1 Corinthians 8:2 (ESV). The Holy Scriptures.
“John answered and said, ‘A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.’” -John 3:27 KJV.
In June of 1980, a 17-year-old young lady graduated valedictorian of her class at a high school in Massachusetts. In her valedictorian address on June 6th she quoted extensively from the lyrics of the song, “The Rose.” This writer read her valedictorian address the following day, a Saturday, in The Woonsocket Call, in an article written by Sheila Ozimek, a reporter for The Woonsocket Call. And he was so touched in his heart by that address that he wrote to that young lady to tell her so. And she wrote back to him. And thus a beautiful correspondence began that lasted for more than two years.
August 16th in the year of our Lord 2017
Questions About the Story
Who was the dandelion-eater at the park bench who dropped the seed that would become little sprout?
By wonderful co-incidence, she was the self-same Christian lady who would later on play Christian music on her cell phone that fed little sprout’s incipient heart and soul and mind with the words and music that would grow in him and awaken him to his true Maker’s identity.
And who was that lady who appeared to August Dawn near the Lake to introduce him to his new life-place in the kingdom?
By wonderful co-incidence, she was the self-same lady who played Christian hymns at the park bench and dropped the seed that would become little sprout.
And who was the preacher-in-the park who revealed God’s Name to little sprout?
By wonderful co-incidence, he was the Daddy of the Christian lady at the park bench.
And who was the teacher in the park on a botany expedition with her students who saved little sprout’s life?
She was the angelic twin sister of the lady at the bench who would become the lady at the lake.
And who was the park grounds keeper who drove the power lawn mower over little sprout?
Unbeknownst to him, he was destined in his next life to become a little dandelion in the self-same park and be born again by the word and the power of the living God coming over him; so that he too would become the one who heard…
“Hear then the parable of the sower:” -Matthew 13:18, and all of the gospel…and all of His Word.
Only by believing His Word can you receive His Holy Spirit, so that the eyes of your understanding may become open; so that you can be saved and see and enter His kingdom.
Can you sum all this up in a few words, like “in a nut shell”?
Yes. As Jesus said to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: “…Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” -John 3:3b ESV. (born again, or, born from above) ESV text note.
Another question: This one is about Little Sprout’s Stump: Could it be that after the power lawn mower ran over little sprout, that it only gave him a major head cut; and that he was able to grow his yellow crown again?
And could it be that Brenda the Bee came back again to visit him?
And could it be that Brenda Bee had other relatives, like: Could Bee, and Would Bee and Will Bee and Should Bee and Shall Bee. And May Bee. And maybe some contrary relatives like: Won’t Bee and Don’t Bee and Never Bee?
Yes, that is possible…
And could it be that the favorable bees do well; and that the contrary bees don’t do well?
Yes, it is possible.
And what is the moral of all this?
Maybe the moral is that it is better to be a believing bee than to be an unbelieving bee…by beeing a beeliever rather than an unbeeliever.
And what will become of those unbelievers?
They will inherit un_happiness and un_doing because they will be unforgiven because of their unbelief toward God Almighty and His Son, whom the Father appointed Saviour of the world, particularly of believers.. They will be unsaved and unregenerated. And that is how they will give glory to God for Eternity; by showing that, just as God’s Word is true concerning salvation for those who believe Him, His Word is also true concerning those who don’t believe Him. See Matthew 13:47-52; and Matthew 25:31-46.
Why would anyone choose unbelief and damnation when they can choose to believe and be saved?
Maybe they don’t know His Living Word, Jesus Christ.
And how can they know Jesus Christ?
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” -Romans 10:17 (ESV).
Can they also hear the Word of God by reading Holy Scripture prayerfully and with a believing heart that wants to know God and be saved?
Yes. As Jesus said: “(let the reader understand)” -Matthew 24:15b (ESV).
This story is to lead the reader to read Holy Scripture. And believe, beginning with those Scriptures. And then from believing Holy Scripture the reader will become a believer in the Living Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. And by believing in Him, the Son of God, Whose Holy Spirit inspired the writing of Holy Scripture, the reader-believer will become a believer in the Heavenly Father of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Concerning the phrase “the one who heard.” That too, is in the Holy Scriptures. In the last book of The Bible. In the last chapter. In verse 8. Revelation 22:8 NASB, ESV, NIV.
And many years ago, the writer wrote a short short story, a fable-like story, that he dedicated to Sonya; and sent it to her. The title is “The One Who Heard.” As far as this writer knows, Sonya is the only one who has that story. There are no other copies that he knows of; although he may have written about that story in his journal and added an explanation, that was not in the original story, about “where” the main character woke up crying at the end of the story, and what she had become.
 A love song by Jennifer Rush.
 “The Shadows – The Power Of Love with lyrics – love song.” The pictures that accompany this version are beautiful.
 A song by Whitney Houston.
 A hymn by John Newton.
 A hymn by Augustus M. Toplady (1763) Wikipedia.org.
 From a poem written by Carl Gustav Boberg (1859-1940). Wikipedia.org.
 A song written by Amanda McBroom and sung by Bette Midler.
 Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” -John 10:10 ESV.
 Also the name of a beautiful poem written by Frederic Weatherly in 1910 and later set to the music of Londonderry Air. -wikipedia.org
 Exodus 14:13, 14, ESV.
 “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” -John 1: 12-13 ESV.
 “So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” -1 Corinthians 15: 42-49 ESV.
 John 3:1-36 ESV.
 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” -Ephesians 2: 4-10 ESV.
Exodus 33:17-23; 1 Samuel 2:1-10; 1 Corinthians 10:4; Romans 9:33; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Deuteronomy 32:1-47 ESV.
 Rock of Ages | Augustus M. Toplady 1776. Scripture: Deuteronomy 32:3-4; Isaiah 26:4. http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Rock_of_Ages/
 See Genesis 2:18 ESV. “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’ “
 A line from a poem by Leigh Hunt, “Abou Ben Adhem.”
 At John 4: 26 it is written that Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well: “…I who speak to you am he.”
 Before Little Sprout had been a dandelion, he had been a human being who took care of a cat named Charcoal.
 The old thought had been, “And tears more than smiles have comforted me” -which Sonya had written in a personal letter long ago.
 “He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’” -Matthew 18:2, 3. NIV.
 An alternate “reading,” or paraphrase of some lyrics from the text of “The Rose” by Bette Midler; with substitutions of the word “far” with “near” and “bitter” with “silent”, and “sun” with Son (of God). “I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. As a lily among brambles, so is my love among the young women.” -Song of Solomon 2:1,2 (ESV). By the grace of God through faith in His Son, we can receive THAT rose, even Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior. As hardened ground is not ready for seeding, neither is a hardened heart ready for God’s Word. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” -Jesus Christ (John 6:44 ESV). We can go to our room and close the door and pray to our Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, and ask Him to draw us to Jesus, His Son, and to prepare our hearts for Christ. And then, trust God, Who can do what we cannot. And, while we are waiting on Him every moment of our daily life, we can read His Word day by day; so that His way of thinking and understanding and believing may gradually replace our own ways. For that is the way of repentance and being born again and receiving a new heart and a new spirit, and His Kingdom, the kingdom of God, and eternal life in Him, even in His Son, Christ our Lord, “the way, and the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6).