Sometimes God urges us to do the strangest things...
- Posted on Mar 25, 2015
Our church family was gathered around our pastor. He was having knee surgery in the morning and we wanted to send him off with a special prayer. As I bowed my head, the strangest idea came to mind. When Pastor returns to the office, bring him roses. Start with one rose the first week. Each week, add a rose until he receives a full dozen.
The thought had to have come from somewhere else. I wasn’t that imaginative. I mean, I was an accountant! It was more than a job for me, it was a whole way of thinking. I liked numbers. They were clear. Precise. Practical. Safe.
There wasn’t anything practical about roses—it would make more sense for me to offer to do the pastor’s taxes—but the numerical aspect of the assignment was in my comfort zone. I calculated. By the end of 12 weeks, I would’ve given our pastor 78 roses. This could get expensive, but okay, God, if this is what Pastor needs…
The first week, I picked out a single red rose. Roses should be red, right? I handed it to the florist like it was some kind of foreign object. “Needs a little flair, don’t you think?” she said.
I shrugged. “You’re the expert.” I didn’t have an artistic bone in my body. What did I know about flair? Everything was black and white on a balance sheet. Even my house was decorated in black and white, sensible and minimal.
The florist tucked the rose into a slender vase and added greenery to set it off. Nothing complicated, but she made that rose look gorgeous.
The next week, I paid more attention. The florist intertwined the stems of the two roses with ribbon, which she finished off in a bow. Watching her work was mesmerizing, like numbers lining up on a spreadsheet. But prettier.
Prettier? Where did that come from? Suddenly I wondered if I could make my own arrangement the next week. I found a unique wooden vase at a discount store. I chose yellow roses tipped with orange—a nice contrast to the wood.
It made financial sense to get a whole dozen instead of three single stems. (I’m an accountant, remember?) Our pastor received the three in the vase. I gave the rest to coworkers and to a neighbor. It felt good. A little bit out of my comfort zone but still good.
The following week’s roses were a delicate peach, to match the butterflies on the ceramic vase I put them in. I wasn’t sure what our pastor thought of my gifts, since he was usually in a meeting when I dropped them off. Still, for the fifth week I really got crazy. I bought an ice-cream set at the dollar store, with a waffle-cone-shaped cup, a scoop, syrup and sprinkles.
I arranged five roses in the cup so they looked like a scoop of ice cream. I blew right through my comfort zone.
That Sunday the pastor greeted me and my family at the church door. “It’s the Rose family!” He gave me a hug. “Your flowers have been a joy in my healing process, Pam.”
After that I was on a roll. There was the Pepsi glass with eight black roses and ice cubes I cut out of foam. And my finale, the aquarium! I decorated the sides of a bowl with bright fish decals and filled it with blue roses. The bowl sat on a tray with stones and greenery.
The finishing touch was a ceramic turtle, peering at the fish. By then, our pastor was completely recovered.
Who would’ve guessed that this strange assignment would turn out to be so much fun...and so transformative? Or that I would discover a creative side I never knew I had? Only the One who gave me both the idea and the imagination to pull it off.