Alpine Rose

Rosa penduline, a type of wild and alpine rose, is rather plainer than the roses Englishmen are wont to grow in their gardens. There’s a lovely simplicity to it, a modesty about its beauty. I fear it would win few awards at the village gala, and the best gardens would prefer more fulsome, double-flowered specimens. Yet the alpine rose has another attractive feature, in addition to its unfussy prettiness and sweet fragrance: it has few thorns.

A beautiful, cultivated rose might look superb, but if you cut your hand while holding it, you’ll wish you never bothered. Leah was the less attractive of Jacob’s wives, for as Genesis 29:17 states:

Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.

Of her sister and rival, H.V. Morton notes: “Rachel remains one of those women with nothing to recommend her but beauty”. Yet Leah was the wife through whom the Messianic line would come, and the pious names she gave her children would indicate a depth of faith and character. Better a simple rose with no prickles and a plain man or woman of upright heart.

Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards his soul will be far from them (Prov 22:5).