They're a little wilted now, ten days after Lois placed them on the coffee table. But they're more than just flowers; God somehow has made them into a symbol of His love.
I knew I was in trouble as we were leaving the ranch after our two week family reunion. I had decided that it was time to leave, as Lois was still tidying up. I guess I was impatient and sharp with her and focused only on beating the traffic back through Denver. For a while on the way home it was pretty quiet in the car. Then when we got home the grass in the back yard had burned from the severe heat of the last two weeks. Lois had asked that we set the sprinklers for daily watering but I felt every other day would be plenty. Things got quieter!
The next day after softball practice, I stopped by Safeway to pick up some groceries heading back home. As I passed the flower stand, I knew what I needed to do. I picked out a bunch of white flowers and headed to the checkout line. I was in a little bit of a hurry and was annoyed that there were two people in front of me in the line. Finally the elderly black lady in front of me finished her purchase and was putting away her credit card. She noticed that I had the flowers laying on the counter and commented that they were really nice. I said that they were a peace offering for my wife. I asked if she thought that they would do the job, and she said "I'm sure they will". That's when the checker interjected that he ought to get some for his girlfriend. I agreed. The lady asked me how long we had been married, and I replied forty eight years, and then I asked if she was married. She replied her husband had died several years ago. I said I was so sorry! She looked at me with an expression of deep understanding and yet a gentle smile. She turned to go and I felt
a connection with her as if we had been together for years. I finished my purchase and told the checker that I hoped that his girlfriend would enjoy the flowers and he told me that he hoped the peace offering would work for me.
As I headed home with my purchases, I realized that God had made that moment for us. A chance to connect in the midst of a busy world. It was as if the little lady was my sister and the checker was my little brother. We really are our brother's keeper and the barriers between us can fall if we just let them.
As I walked in the door with the flowers behind my back, I knew things were going to get a lot better!