Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Valentine (05/16/05)
TITLE: A Bouquet of Weeds
By Karen Noblitt
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A gentle rap at the driver’s side window startled Sara from her thoughts. “Everyone’s here Sara!” Pastor Tim called through the window, his hands dug deep into his pockets and a huge scarf wrapped tight around his neck. “You ready to get started?”
Sara nodded, drained what was left of her coffee and turned off the car. Bracing herself for the bitter cold, she got out of the car and walked towards the others gathered under the street lamp.
“We are a small group tonight, but we can still make a difference!” Pastor Tim said as he tried to encourage the cold but faithful street ministry group.
Pastor Tim’s wife Patty approached the group just then with a huge basket full of bright red roses. “Hi everybody! Sorry I’m late, but you wouldn’t believe the line at the florist! Seems like everyone in the city was there getting roses!”
“Everyone but Brad!” Sara bit her lip so she wouldn’t cry as she gazed at the beautiful flowers.
“Okay guys, you know what to do! Hand out these roses to all the homeless people you come across and if they will listen, tell them about Christ and how much He loves them this Valentine’s Day!” After giving the instructions, Pastor Tim began handing each person in the group a half dozen roses.
Sara got her roses, pulled her jacket tight around her slim frame and with head down began her walk along the quiet street.
“Instead of giving out roses, I should be receiving them! Wonder if Brad decided to give his new girlfriend beautiful red roses??” The thought brought tears to her eyes. “I’m his wife! I deserve whatever present he bought her this Valentine’s Day! Where is God in all this mess?? Doesn’t He even care about me and my marriage??”
So engrossed in her thoughts, Sara almost walked right over a pair of legs blocking the sidewalk. She jumped back at the sight of them.
“Oh miss, I’m so sorry! Did I trip you?” A soft spoken women looked up at her from the cold, hard sidewalk below.
“No, I’m fine and I should be the one to apologize to you!” Sara replied. “I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going.”
The woman nodded and a small smile curved up her lips.
“No harm done. My! What beautiful flowers! Are those for Valentine’s Day?”
Sara knelt down beside the woman and handed her one of the red roses. Just then a small boy with a mop of brown hair and the biggest blue eyes Sara had ever seen, approached the two women.
Sara brought her gaze back to the woman and replied, “Yes ma’am, the roses are for Valentine’s Day and this one is for you. I’m passing these out to tell people about the love of Jesus.”
The woman reached out her hand and gently took the rose. Suddenly the young boy knelt beside the woman and presented her with a bouquet of weeds and wild flowers.
“Here Momma, Happy Valentine’s Day!”
Before the woman could respond, huge tears splashed down upon the bouquet and a soft sob escaped from her throat. The boy gathered his mother into his tiny arms and laid his head on her shoulder.
“I love you Momma and I thought that you deserved the prettiest flowers in all the world!”
The woman gently wrapped her arms around her son and looked up at Sara.
“Miss, I know all about the love of Jesus. You see, my husband died three months ago. I wasn’t able to keep up with all the bills after his death and we lost everything. Jesus loves me so much that he made sure I knew how much I was loved this Valentine’s Day by giving me the most beautiful flowers in all the world. If you don’t mind, please give this rose to someone who really needs it.”
Sara smiled and took the rose from the woman’s outstretched hand. As she walked back towards her car she realized that this was indeed the best Valentine’s Day she had ever had.
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