by Lena Fields-Arnold © 2016
It was one of those days. You all know about them. We all have them from time to time-days when our frustrations with people get the best of us. It was the kind of day when concerns weigh you down. It was the end of a long day spent with me, trying to save a friendship on the verge of ruin, pontificating about the craziness of politics, and despairing about the current racial climate of our country.
An hour before the flower I had literally been crying while processing on the phone with my cousin who reminded me that I had a sistafriend in her who I could always lean on. As we talked, we laughed together as we remembered the good times we shared. She made me feel better.
She always had a way of reminding me that despite what is going on in the world-even in my world-God is always there and He would work things out, not only in my life, but ultimately the world at large. After we talked, I picked up my kids from piano practice and headed to the store to pick up a few groceries. In the line a noticed a woman behind me who was purchasing a whole bunch of glass vases with flowering plant bulbs, very similar to one my mother-in-law had received for Christmas last year. I remember thinking, “Those are cute. I wonder where they were? They must have a really good sale on those. I wonder if she is having a party?” But saying, “No you cannot have that fudge it has wheat in it. Can you guys get me an empty box? Please stop picking with your sister!”
You guys know how that goes.
As we packed the boxes I totally forgot about the woman with the flowers and thought only on my wonderful children who dutifully packed the boxes with groceries (including the stuff they sneaked in the cart-you know how that goes right?)
While we loaded the vehicle, I noticed an SUV parked behind us but only thought of it long enough to wonder if they would be moved out of the way when I was ready to pull out. As I got in the car I heard a voice say, “Ma’am, excuse me but I have something for you.” Ordinarily the wary cynic and martial artist in me would be on high alert if a stranger walked up on me like that, but this time as I looked up I felt only peace. To my surprise standing before my window was the woman with the flowers. “The Lord impressed upon me to give this to you. You are a wonderful mother.” She said.
I was stunned! I was almost rendered speechless by her gift. I was again on the verge of tears, but this time it was because of joy. I could tell she was a little nervous, but she had moved outside of her comfort zone and obeyed God. I gave her a heartfelt thank you then lifted the vase in her presence up to the sky and said, “Thank you Lord!” She told me to have a good night and just like that she got in her vehicle and was gone.
Let me tell you, that moment was awesome and amazing on so many levels I don’t even know how to effectively communicate it. God did so many things for me and my family that it is difficult to explain, but I am going to try.
By using His servant to give me that flower, God demonstrated His love for me according to His word in Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Augustine said, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” That’s how I felt in that moment-like God’s only beloved.
The flower from God reminded me that as long as His people are in the world we will always have friends, even if they are wrapped in the form of people we have never met.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”– 1 John 4:7-8
Finally, In that woman of God moving outside of her cultural comfort zone, and giving a gift to a person of a different culture she renewed all of my family’s hopes that our country can and will change for the better. Renewing hope in us that there are people who understand that God cares nothing about skin color, or race.
The flower from God renovated our near broken spirits regarding this country’s racial climate because it served as a reminder that God is not a respecter of persons and that no matter the climate, God has our back. He will take care of us.
“who shows no partiality to princes, nor regards the rich more than the poor, for they are all the work of his hands?” -Job 34:19
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” -Jeremiah 29:11
So to the woman with the flowers, who gave not only me, but my entire family a priceless gift, I say “Thank You. I look forward to seeing you again in heaven one day so that I can more fully share with you how much your small act-was bigger than you will ever know.”