How often do you take something for granted? We usually do it without even noticing. To us, they are very small things that can easily be overlooked if we decide not to pay attention. For others, the very thing that we no longer notice is the very thing that they might want the most in the entire world. For one minister, a kind gesture from his congregation had become something that he expected. He was no longer surprised that they went out of their way to do something kind for him. Of course he would smile and say “thank you” with grace, but until he spoke to a 10-year-old boy, he didn’t realize how very lucky he was.
For some time I have had a person provide me with a rose boutonniere to pin on the lapel of my suit every Sunday just before I give the sermon. Because I always got a flower on Sunday morning, I really did not think much of it. It was a nice gesture that I appreciated, but it became routine.
One Sunday, however, what I considered ordinary became very special. As I was leaving the Sunday service a young man approached me. He walked right up to me and said, “Sir, what are you going to do with your flower?” At first I did not know what he was talking about, but then I understood. The boy said, “I would like it if you are just going to throw it away.” At this point I smiled and gladly told him that he could have my flower, casually asking him what he was going to do with it.
The little boy, who was probably less than 10 years old, looked up at me and said, “Sir, I’m going to give it to my granny. My mother and father got divorced last year. I was living with my mother, but when she married again, she wanted me to live with my father. I lived with him for a while, but he said I could not stay, so he sent me to live with my grandmother. She is so good to me. She cooks for me and takes care of me. She has been so good to me that I want to give that pretty flower to her for loving me.”
When the little boy finished, I could hardly speak. My eyes filled with tears and I knew I had been touched in the depths of my soul. I reached up and unpinned my flower. With the flower in my hand, I looked at the boy and said, “Son, that is the nicest thing I have ever heard, but you can’t have this flower because it’s not enough. If you’ll look in front of the pulpit, you’ll see a big bouquet of flowers. Different families buy them for the church each week. Please take those flowers to your granny because she deserves the very best.”
If I hadn’t been touched enough already, he made one last statement and I will always cherish it. He said, “What a wonderful day! I asked for one flower but got a beautiful bouquet.”
For the minister, it wasn’t about the flowers. It was about the meaning behind them. This little boy couldn’t have dreamed that he would be able to give his granny such a wonderful gift. This minister couldn’t believe that he had taken the congregation’s sentiment for granted. In giving the flowers to the little boy, he realized that even if it’s just a small thing, like the flower on his lapel coat, to never forget why people do the things that they do. This story is beautiful!
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