For the most part, hours spent making flower arrangements are pretty enjoyable - the flower shop always smells wonderful, is brimming with a myriad of colors, shapes and textures and the door bell chiming nearly always means flowers to be shared with someone for happy reasons. This past week has certainly included visitors who have stepped inside for just that - but this week also seems to have been laden with sorrows for many also.
It began last weekend with the phone ringing over and over - with customers choking back their own tears while choosing flowers for two different families - each who had lost a young son in the same car accident - being struck by a drunk driver. The accident was hundreds of miles away but their families were here. Our normally festive moods were quickly quieted. It was time now to minister to others through our work...some how hoping the messages of friends coupled with God's majestic work of His gardens would bring some comfort to them.
I can't really explain why this particular tragedy has touched me so strongly - except recalling how many people cared about our family when Alvis was suddenly called home. I have accepted that I will not understand why my husband's journey here ended way to soon from my perspective - and even though I believe God's plan for Alvis and our family is His perfect plan - it still saddens me. I miss him. I imagine that these families are struggling with similar questions - why their sons and why when their lives were full of promise. My heart breaks for them and each family who came in this week for flowers for their loved ones. I know that Jesus is holding them closer these past few days.
I desire to be His instrument when I am assisting customers - not just when someone is grieving but with each one who steps inside or calls. I know I fail - sometimes it is simply difficult to smile through their grumblings. Yet, I have a Father who still cares for me through my grumblings.
Today my co-worker made a beautiful garden for one of the memorial services to be held on Sunday. She asked for my opinion various times as she created it - which is truly humbling as she is so creative - but it was also hard to look at - her garden design was so similar to the one my friend, Jan, had made for Al. Tears welled up in my heart - trying not to let them spill out. I know Jan put her heart into the flowers she did for us just as my friend and co-worker did today. I desire to remember to be God's instrument - to demonstrate His love for each of us in the moments of sorrow and all the moments of joy. In the midst of the heartache we feel for these families and others - I can also imagine joy - the joy of meeting Jesus and a heavenly home beyond beautiful!