Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: IN-LAWS (07/11/19)
- TITLE: The Journey
By C D Swanson
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“I’m so sorry!”
Her face, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the reddest, registered an 11!
“It’s okay. Are you alright?”
“Yes, I was just gathering these flowers for their journey.”
I was immediately intrigued. “Journey?”
She smiled and nodded her head before answering. “Yes, my mother-in-law, many years ago, when I first married, shared a beautiful story with me.”
I was clearly enthralled and wanted to hear about this journey of a flower. “Please go on…”
“Well, these flowers, on the altar, were from a funeral service this morning. It was a sad time, saying goodbye to their loved one. Some of the flower arrangements will be left here to adorn the LORD’s house, but the majority of them will come with me.”
“Yes, I volunteer in a nursing home. I rearrange the flowers, and take them to the residents. It brings happiness to them, and joy into their rooms. Sadly, many of the people have no one that visits, so the flowers usually go to them. You’d be amazed how a little bouquet can light up their face. These gorgeous flowers, already served to help those mourning, and now on their journey, they will bring joy to others.”
“Oh, yes…I worked in nursing homes, and remember the excitement that flowers brought to many.”
“So, you’ve seen and witnessed that kind of special joy firsthand as well, so you truly understand.”
“I also volunteer at a home for women who have turned their lives around. They have abusive backgrounds, or are recovering addicts, and have little means to buy anything, let alone to splurge on flowers. So, I bring a huge arrangement to the house of these lovely women, who have found the LORD. They look forward to getting them. Again, another journey for the flowers…joy to those who found the LORD and found life.”
“Oh, my goodness…that is phenomenal.” My eyes brimmed over as a tear trickled down my cheek.
“Uh-huh. It sure is. My mother-in-law, Gemma, was just that…a pure gem. And, I’m honored to carry out her tradition of the journey of flowers.”
“She sounds like she was a sweetheart.”
“She was! Oh, and one more thing. I take individual flowers downtown where there’s a huge homeless population. I hand out individual flowers there, the reaction I receive is heart wrenching and feels so good at the same time. I’ll never forget one day in particular, when I handed a young woman a rose; ‘for me?’ I nodded and said, ‘you are a rose in the LORD’s garden.’ She cried unabashedly, then said, ‘I never got a flower from anyone, in my whole life, and I was praying to Jesus to show me that He cares, and you show up, with a rose!’"
I dabbed at my eyes with my tissue.
“So, you see. The life of a flower, that God created, can bring comfort in mourning, joy into the life of a lonely nursing home resident, encouragement to ladies who found the LORD, and to a homeless person who needed a sign that she is loved.”
“Thank you for sharing this touching story with me. I will never look at a funeral arrangement in the same way again. And, God bless your mother-in-law, who brought this tradition to you.”
“My daughter is doing it too, so it’s going to stay a family tradition. I’ve no doubt that Gemma is a Rose in God’s lovely garden, bringing joy to everyone up there.”
She handed me a single flower after I hugged her tightly. “Thank you! God Bless.”
That was ten years ago, and true to my word, I’ve never looked at a funeral arrangement in quite the same way, ever since that uplifting, and delightfully touching day.
God’s beauty surrounds us, and if we take the time to consider how we can share it with others, it certainly has a way of “blossoming” into a reflection of His love.
*Based on a true story.
John 1:3 (KJV)
All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.
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