The Cactus

“Oh my goodness! How beautiful!” The miniature cactus, wearing three bright red flower topknots, it’s many prickly spires standing proudly at my place at the table, seemed to flame a greeting as I swept into the room, hurrying to leave for a dental appointment. Dear husband had been to the market this morning, surprising me also with a gift of blossoms. This has become a precious part of our married life . . . I never know when flowers, a miniature rose, an orchid, or today a cactus, will appear, just for the sheer beauty of it. No matter when, I am always amazed at the tender heart my husband shows me. And I am ever thankful for his love of flowers! It blesses me so, inside and outside. His love of tulips, daffodils and pansies have motivated me to add many to our garden bed. Living, beautiful things where we dwell.

“Oh, thank you!” I enthused. Holding the charming cactus I walked into my husband’s office, exclaiming, “If we can’t go to Arizona, this brings Arizona to us!” He laughed, and with that signature mischievous grin of his, replied, “The checker at the store asked me, ‘Why are you buying your wife a cactus?’” I anticipated him saying, “because we missed going to Arizona . . .” I should have known, that twinkle in his eye a dead giveaway of what was to come. I held my breath and waited. “Oh, she’s a little thorny, and this has pretty flowers on top.”

Guffawing, I nearly dropped the cactus. He really had me there. But today I was wearing my Teflon suit, so the teasing just rolled right off and danced around with the laughter. Maybe this was an indication that my old teasing wounds are finally getting healed, for the moment anyway. It felt great to just laugh at his funny comment, rather than feeling hurt by it. Yes, sometimes the truth does hurt, and at times I have been known to be a bit prickly. 🙂 Still, no matter, when wounds entrap us and steal our joy, a little digging is in order.

It brings to mind again the wisdom of pulling weeds up by the full root rather than just whacking away the tops . . . they are tenacious and will grow back again. Deep wounding behaves the same way I have found. And until the root of the thing is found and dug out, the hurt it causes will crop up again and again throughout the seasons. Dealing with those deep hurts, ones that occurred before we ever met each other, has proven a challenge in our relationship, my lighthearted husband and serious me. Still it has helped us both to grow as we have navigated communicating over forty-two years, discovering what it is that makes us tick. Our plumb-line in trying to figure it out: the Master Gardner Himself who knows what our real problems are, and who helps us overcome. There has been lots of prayer, forgiveness, and forbearance in our marriage, and lots of fun, too. What a joy that the prickles (definitely a defense mechanism) were on the cactus today, and not on me!

2 thoughts on “The Cactus

  1. What a lovely testimony of overcoming victory! To be offended is to take the bait the enemy dangles and then be entrapped- hurt— Not Today Satan!!!
    I hope this little cactus brings encouragement and remembrance of your joy instead of hurt! Our husbands are wonderful gentlemen!

    Liked by 1 person

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