Stephen A. Peterson
On Valentine’s Day, 2005, Gwen Watson, an 18 year old, and eight of her friends, entered the Pleasant Valley Nursing Home of Oklahoma City loaded down with paper flowers. “Smile and tell the residents we’re from the Missionary Baptist Church,” Gwen instructed her close friends. They scattered into the rooms, handing out pink, red and blue bouquets of happiness and cheer on this day of love.
As the teenage girls gathered back in the reception area, Gwen noticed a wheelchair parked in a little traveled corner. Tucked in it was a woman with bent, twisted fingers and crooked, turned in feet saying not a word. She eagerly watched Gwen and the other girls. Gwen gave her a look that said: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but the flowers are all gone.” She and her friends hurried back to the church to return their carrying baskets.
Leaving the church for home, Gwen’s eyes saw a brown wicker basket full of pink, red and white roses—live flowers. “Who put them there?” thought Gwen. “No! Oh, no Lord! Lord, are you asking me to go back to that nursing home to deliver this to that old lady?”
Although a teenager, Gwen was in charge and knew that the bouquet of roses was not left in the church by accident. She knew what she had to do as the old woman’s eager face appeared miraculously in the bouquet. Reluctantly, Gwen picked up the bouquet and returned to the nursing home. Still feeling confused and with some annoyance, Gwen carefully laid the flowers in the woman’s lap. Immediately, the woman’s eyes turned misty. “Bless you, young lady! God bless you and show His face to you for your kindness! Thank you so very, very much!”
As Gwen watched the woman look at and gently touch the flowers, the room seemed filled with the sweet aroma of the scent of roses. At the same time, Gwen experienced a sudden rush of happiness and joy. A sense of happiness and joy granted her for listening and responding to the voice of God.
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A truly beautiful story! Good, lasting fruit always comes from obedience to the love of Christ.