Curiously, the warmth of the spring day felt good on my skin. I fought
back the veil of tears that blurred the dogwood trees lining the
hospital grounds. Everything around me seemed to be bursting with life
while I felt cold, alone and defeated.
With a sinking feeling, I opened my car door and drove to the florist.
I knew I have to do this for my mother. She had always said, 'Give me
flowers while I can enjoy them."
As I opened the door to the florists' shop, I was met by a profusion of
color mingled with the scent of fresh roses. What a contrast with the
bare hospital room I had just left!
My mother had been in the hospital for more than two weeks, her year-long
struggle with lung cancer nearly at an end. I wanted more than anything
to see her smile once more.
I walked between the potted daisies, pausing to finger the petals. They
still shimmered with water droplets, and I couldn't help thinking how
vibrant they seemed. The shelves below them were lined with dish gardens
exploding with philodendron. Everything seemed blessed with the fullness
of life and the will to live.
I turned and faced the sunlight streaming through the window, hoping it
would drive out the ache in my throat. I breathed in deeply, then
glanced up at the top shelf. There I saw an old-fashioned yellow sprinkling
can brimming with lavender daisies. As I lifted it from the shelf, the
flowers practically jumped.
"Could I help you?" A voice behind me asked.
I turned to face a woman I didn't know. She must have sensed the pain in
my heart or seen the tears in my eyes because her eyes were full of
"I - I want something pretty for my mother," I managed to say. "She is
dying." Without so much as a word, the woman who worked daily nurturing
life with the flower shop walked forward. Her deep brown eyes melted into
a mixture of pain, understanding, and love as she gently placed her arms
In that unexpected embrace, I felt God's love as He welcomed me into His
arms, surrounding and protecting me from the pain. At once, the familiar
words of Jesus spoke clearly to me, "By this shall men know that ye are
my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35).
There in that flower shop, God met me, a defeated and lonely person trying
to muddle through a tragedy without Him. But through His love, He sent
someone to meet me in my sorrow.
I thank God every day for this woman who allowed the love of Jesus to work
through her. My prayer is that I follow her example and meet others where
they are, freely offering the love of Jesus.
By Nanette Thorsen-Snipes