Grif.Net

10/03/15 Weekend Grif.Net – Dead Flowers

10/03/15 Weekend Grif.Net – Dead Flowers

I spent the week before my daughter’s June wedding =
running last-minute trips to the caterer, florist, tuxedo shop, and the =
church about forty miles away. As happy as I was that Patsy was marrying =
a good Christian young man, I felt laden with responsibilities as I =
watched my budget dwindle . . So many details, so many bills, and so =
little time. My son Jack was away at college, but he said he would be =
there to walk his younger sister down the aisle, taking the place of his =
dad who had died a few years before. He teased Patsy, saying he’d wanted =
to give her away since she was about three years old!

 

To =
save money, I gathered blossoms from several friends who had large =
magnolia trees. Their luscious, creamy-white blooms and slick green =
leaves would make beautiful arrangements against the rich dark wood =
inside the church. After the rehearsal dinner the night before the =
wedding, we banked the podium area and choir loft with magnolias. As we =
left just before midnight, I felt tired but satisfied this would be the =
best wedding any bride had ever had! The music, the ceremony, the =
reception – and especially the flowers – would be remembered for years. =

 

The big day arrived – the busiest day of my life – =
and while her bridesmaids helped Patsy to dress, her fianc=E9 Tim walked =
with me to the sanctuary to do a final check. When we opened the door =
and felt a rush of hot air, I almost fainted; and then I saw them – all =
the beautiful white flowers were black. Funeral black. An electrical =
storm during the night had knocked out the air conditioning system, and =
on that hot summer day, the flowers had wilted and died. =

 

I panicked, knowing I didn’t have time to drive =
back to our hometown, gather more flowers, and return in time for the =
wedding. Tim turned to me. "Edna, can you get more flowers? I’ll =
throw away these dead ones and put fresh flowers in these =
arrangements." I mumbled, "Sure," as he be-bopped down =
the hall to put on his cuff links.

 

Alone =
in the large sanctuary, I looked up at the dark wooden beams in the =
arched ceiling. "Lord," I prayed, "please help me. I =
don’t know anyone in this town. Help me find someone willing to give me =
flowers – in a hurry!" I scurried out praying for four things: the =
blessing of white magnolias, courage to find them in an unfamiliar yard, =
safety from any dog that may bite my leg, and a nice person who would =
not get out a shotgun when I asked to cut his tree to shreds. =

 

As I left the church, I saw magnolia trees in the =
distance. I approached a house… No dog in sight. I knocked on the door =
and an older man answered. So far so good . . . No shotgun. When I =
stated my plea the man beamed, "I’d be happy to!" =

 

He climbed a stepladder and cut large bough s and =
handed them down to me. Minutes later, as I lifted the last armload into =
my car trunk, I said, "Sir, you’ve made the mother of a bride happy =
today."

 

"No, Ma’am," he said. "You don’t =
understand what’s happening here. You see, my wife of sixty-seven years =
died on Monday. On Tuesday I received friends at the funeral home, and =
on Wednesday . . . He paused. I saw tears welling up in his eyes. =
"On Wednesday I buried her." He looked away. "On Thursday =
most of my out-of-town relatives went back home, and on Friday – =
yesterday – my children left." I nodded.

 

"This morning," he continued, "I was =
sitting in my den crying out loud. I miss her so much. For the last =
sixteen years, as her health got worse, she needed me. But now nobody =
needs me. This morning I cried, ‘Who needs an eighty-six-year-old =
wore-out man? Nobody!’ I began to cry louder. ‘Nobody needs me!’ About =
that time, you knocked, and said, "Sir, I need you." =

 

I stood with my mouth open. He asked, "Are you =
an angel? The way the light shone around your head into my dark living =
room…" I assured him I was no angel. He smiled. "Do you know =
what I was thinking when I handed you those magnolias?=A0 I decided I’m =
needed. My flowers are needed. Why, I might have a flower ministry! I =
could give them to everyone! Some caskets at the funeral home have no =
flowers. People need flowers at times like that and I have lots of them. =
They’re all over the backyard! I can give them to hospitals, churches – =
all sorts of places. You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to serve =
the Lord until the day He calls me home!"

 

I =
drove back to the church, filled with wonder. On Patsy’s wedding day, if =
anyone had asked me to encourage someone who was hurting, I would have =
said, "Forget it! It’s my only daughter’s wedding, for goodness’ =
sake! There is no way I can minister to anyone today." But God =
found a way. Through dead flowers.

 

"Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s =
the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the =
difference."

 

[Story by =
Edna Ellison]

 

~~

Dr Bob Griffin =

bob@grif.net www.grif.net =

"Jesus Knows Me, This I =
Love!"