Delight Unfolding

My father grew roses in our yard when I was growing up. He had a magical way with them, tending them carefully, treating them when there was blight, removing Japanese Beetles when they descended on them every summer, and gently trimming and shaping the bushes through the season. 

The peace roses, with their gentle blend of pink, orange, and yellow hues, and their promise of peace, were my favorite. Our roses were so stunning, people would stop their cars and take photos of them. It is no wonder I developed a deep love for roses. I find them delight-full, with their gentle petals slowly unfurling, their scent wafting through the air, and their beautiful colors painting the landscape. 

Roses have become a symbol of life for me, representing both the hardships and the delights. The thorns remind me of the sharp sting of rejection, inevitable heart ache, and the truth of impermanence. Their beauty and scent hold all the goodness in life: love, friendship, compassion, and generosity.

Last week I was in Pittsburgh, PA with colleagues from across the country at our annual Ministry Days gathering which I haven’t attended in-person since 2018. It was a DELIGHT to be with dear friends and colleagues again. There was a lot of hugging! That was delightful! 

On the first night of our gathering we held a Milestones Service to welcome our new colleagues entering the ministry, dedicate the children in our midst, and honor the elders retiring from ministry. That included me… which felt a bit surreal, and was quite delightful. Each honoree was given a purple rose. I carefully brought mine back to our AirBnB apartment and placed it in a glass of water. Every day it gradually unfolded with greater and greater beauty. This felt like a lovely metaphor of my ministry, unfolding over the years with greater love, beauty, and delight. 

Some compare life – or ministry – to a roller coaster with all it’s ups and downs and dips and turns (and I find roller coasters very delightful!), but the metaphor that I carry with me now is the gentle unfolding of the delightful layers of relationships that are at the heart of ministry, and life. 

~Rev. Jan Taddeo

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2 Responses to Delight Unfolding

  1. Peggy A says:

    I love your beautiful metaphor of ministry, Rev. Jan. You have made some beautiful things unfold at UUCG.
    Thank you for your 12 years of devotion and hard work. You will be greatly missed.

  2. Lydia M Patrick says:

    This passage brought me as much joy and delight as has your ministry with us. Thank you

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