Words of Hope: Friendly Flowers

The other day Mom and I walked through our neighborhood together. We stopped to see a woman planting in her yard. Her house has a gorgeous sanctuary with hundreds of flowers, and she was preparing her garden for winter. She smiled at my Mom and said, “These pots were full of dahlias this spring. They are one of my favorite flowers now! I hadn’t planted dahlias until Fred encouraged me by saying how much he loved dahlias.” She told us the reason she started planting dahlias was because of my Dad’s enthusiasm. Then the woman turned to me and said, “Did you know your Dad stopped to pray right over there many days?” This woman placed a beautiful bench in her yard in front of a cross where my Dad would stop and pray while my Mom rounded the rest of the block. I never knew this neighbor had placed this bench in the yard for my Dad to stop and pray.

I think of the numerous kindnesses people gave to my Dad. I am struck by how he was brave enough to encourage one of the best gardeners to plant dahlias and create a lasting relationship.

I marvel at Dad’s relational courage. I think I often inhibit a friendship because I worry so much about what people think of me. I wonder how many opportunities I miss by making assumptions about what others might perceive to be strange. Instead of making up people’s minds, Dad saw an opportunity for a deeper connection. I love that he held endless possibilities and brought in others to create beautiful opportunities with him.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love and a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7