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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Rich (04/26/12)

TITLE: Just Take the Flowers, Lady
By Helen Curtis


Is it just me, or have you noticed that it's so much harder to receive than to give? My mum recently found this out the hard way.

Having heard an inspiring message about random acts of kindness, she thought she would sieze the day and put the Pastor's words into actions whilst out on a shopping trip.

She somewhat nervously walked to the flowers adorning the front of the supermarket and chose a friendly-looking boquet, bound to brighten anyone's day. Then she stood and waited for the God-appointed recipient to catch her eye. Before long a dear old lady shuffled past, her arms barely able to push her heavily-laden trolley across the shiny tiled floor. "Aha!" Mum sprinted into action, dazzling smile in place, eager to experience the rush of joy that would be incited by the tears of gratitude pouring down her age-lined face.

"Excuse me, but I would love for you to take these, just as a gesture . . . of . . . um . . ." The little old lady mustn't have heard her, as she seemed to speed up a little. Mum tried again, putting on her best it's-okay-I'm-not-going-to-hurt-you smile.

"Excuse me, but I just wanted to bless you with a gift of . . ." What was this lady's problem?! She was practically running at this point. Finally mum managed to catch up to her, panting slightly at her sudden burst of exercise. Her head was screaming, "Will you just take the flowers?!" but she managed to keep her emotions in check.

"I (puff) would be (pant) so pleased if you (puff) would take these as a gesture of (pant) kindness." By now the dazzling smile was more of a grimace. The lady barely stopped as she snatched the slightly bedraggled flora from mum's hand, threw them on top of her shopping and continued on her way without so much as a thank you.

Recalling my mum's sad tale of the unwanted daisies causes me to think on the whole idea of giving and receiving. We all know that the bible says we should be generous and cheerful givers, but why is it so important. And what, if anything, does God's Word say about our attitude towards receiving?

In 2 Corinthians 8:1-8 Paul writes of the actions of the churches in Macedonia. Coming under intense pressure, and suffering all kinds of attack and testing they kept God's kingdom and the Apostles first and foremost in their hearts. They knew that through their giving the Kingdom of God would be furthered here on earth, and that it was an act of God's kindness that allowed them to do so,

They made an appeal to us, begging us to let them participate in the ministry of Godís kindness to his holy people in Jerusalem. 2 Cor 8:4

Imagine how they would have felt if the Apostles in Jerusalem had responded in this manner,

"Yeah, look thanks for the kind offer, but we really can't take your money and food! We'll find a way, somehow, to get through; we'll just keep praying for a miracle."

Not only would the Apostles be unable to continue in building Christ's kingdom through all of Judea and Samaria, but it would have taken from the Macedonian followers the joy they experienced via being a blessing, possibly crushing their spirits and causing them to be overcome by their persecutors.

The same could be said today of us, should we choose to refuse the help of a friend or member of our Church. There is no shame in accepting the assistance of another, yet we often feel as if there's some unwritten social law that says we should be self-sufficient. Well, from what I have read in the Bible, we can achieve very little being self-sufficient, and I believe it's the lie of the enemy that says we should 'suck it up' and deal with our circumstances alone. Self-sufficiency is really a fancy way of saying pride; and pride is nothing more than a thief robbing the giver of their blessing from God.

How about today, if someone offers to bless us, we don't allow pride to rob them of their joy - let's choose to reach out and "just take the flowers."

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This article has been read 508 times
Member Comments
Member Date
annie keys05/03/12
I LOVE THIS! What a delightful story; and one that each of us has experienced on some level.

Well written, love it!
Nancy Bucca05/03/12
What an important message you've packed in those flowers! It makes me think of how part of abiding in Christ is to love one another - not through rejection but by acceptance.
Great illustration of the woman running from the flowers. We should never have to chase down possible recipients of our gifts.
C D Swanson 05/05/12
Beautifully said and written. Many of us are guilty of "not accepting" the gifts of others, that come from God's heart. In so doing we are "robbing others of being blessed" by God. We need to be both "cheerful givers as well as recipients."

Excellent job with this.

God Bless~
Linda Goergen05/05/12
I loved this story and what a great message, to be careful that our attitude doesn't rob someone of being blessed. I felt sorry for the MC, instead of getting a smile, a show of happiness, for the gift she gave, she had the frustration of barely having it taken! But sadly in this day and age people often fear taking a gift from a stranger, for fear it is a gimmick, with strings attached. Isn't is sad that kindness from strangers are so few, that we are leery of them! Great job on this.
Laury Hubrich 05/06/12
This is a well-written devotional. It reminds us that, in giving, we shouldn't be hurt if we don't get a thank you when we do reach out and give to someone. You really described the beginning well. Made me smile for both your mum and the old lady. She probably thought she was getting mugged. :)
Graham Insley05/07/12
I loved the intro and I loved the ending; but I struggled just a little in the middle.

"but why is it so important." The ? mark is missing and in this paragraph you ask two questions. You then go on to answer the questions, but I struggled for awhile to see that you were answering those questions.

I'm not sure of my ground here, but for me, the transition from a funny, but potent, story to an important message wasn't as smooth as it could have been.

But none the less a great message that is well told.
Colin Swann05/07/12
Yes, it's true that it's easier go give, for some Christians, than to receive. I find myself in this category.
I've got a picture in my mind that the flowers would be bashed and broken when the old lady got them home - and mumbling away she would have stuff them in the trash can.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/07/12
This is a delightful story. I could easily picture Mum and the lol (little old lady) going at it in the parking lot.

Though it may not be the typical type of rich we think of, I still see the topic in this piece. I know personally because of my health problems that it blesses others to help me. In return there have been times where I was the one offering to help a friend. I was crushed when she turned by offer down. I looked her in the eye and firmly said if you don't except this token, I'll no longer ask you to watch my daughter when I'm in the hospital. She was shocked at first but as I explained, especially with my illness, I don't have a lot of opportunities do do for others and did she really want to rob me of the joy of being the giver instead of the receiver. So many people don't quite get that concept and I thank you for bringing it to the forefront!
Dannie Hawley 05/08/12
I laughed so hard as I read this delightful zinger. Great message. My only question is if you might not have given it away in the title? From the beginning I was waiting for the gift to be rejected. not sure that it matters. I loved the story.
lynn gipson 05/09/12
I used to have a problem with receiving gifts, but now I see them as someone caring about me, I didn't feel that way before I met Jesus, I just felt like I didn't deserve them. This is a great story.I am at level one but I know great when I see it....loved it.