Flowers are a Blessing

      If you have ever received flowers, I'm sure you know just how much of a blessing flowers can be.  To the patient in the hospital, the new mom, a birthday wish, or a sympathy arrangement, flowers can brighten, inspire, and even bless.
      On Wednesday, I was able to see first hand how much a bouquet of flowers can brighten the day of an unsuspecting recipient.  Once a month, my church in Siloam Springs does random acts of kindness for people in our community.  We take groceries to families in need, quarters to the laundry mat, and write letters for missionaries overseas.  Ever since we have started this tradition I have felt the need to provide my talent and services to provide hope and a blessing to somebody in need.  After weeks of praying and trying to decide what to do, I was at work on Tuesday when it dawned on me.  I could take flower arrangements to the nursing home!
      So, on Wednesday morning when the floral truck arrived, I had decided the amount of money that I could spend on flowers and that I wanted to make at least 10 small arrangements for the residents of the nursing home.  While I was picking out the leather leaf, daisies, and Alstromeria lilies off the truck, Scotty, the driver, placed more flowers in my pile and told me that I could have them for free.  That's right, the flowers were all donated.  I also had enough flowers to make 24 arrangements, now talk about a blessing.
Two women from church, my mom, and I all arrived at the nursing home around 6:30 pm.  The residents were getting ready for bed for the night so we walked around the halls looking for people who were awake to give flowers to.  Several times I would have to fight back the tears as a sweet elderly lady would reach out her hand to touch mine as tears welled in her eyes because she had received flowers.   One sweet man wanted to keep the flowers to give to his granddaughter who was coming to visit him on Saturday.  Several times the residents would say "oh no thank you, I don't have anything to put them in."  As I looked around their rooms I noticed that all they had was a drinking cup that they used for water.  The lack of vases or other containers that hold flowers showed me that these patients never receive flowers.  They are never or rarely blessed with the beauty that flowers provide.
      I was particularly touched by a sweet lady with an oxygen mask on.  As I walked in to her room I noticed that she was staring at the wall with a look of sadness.  As I knelt down beside her I asked her if she would like an arrangement of roses.  She looked up at me and said in a whisper through her oxygen mask, "but I don't have any money." "Oh ma'am," I say, "these flowers are free, they are for you."  From that moment I noticed her eyes of sadness turned to eyes filled with joy and jubilation. "Oh thank you, thank you" she said to me, at least twenty times.  I held her hand as I helped her open her card as she read "God bless you" and the verse inside.  As I touched her soft, frail, skin all I could think about was how this small arrangement of leather leaf, one red rose, and a few spray roses, all nicely tied in a pink ribbon, was what this woman needed to brighten her day.
      If you have ever looked at flowers as something that you see everyday, perhaps even on the side of the road on your way down the highway, I urge you to think of this.  Think of how just a small bouquet of flowers can brighten a day and bring hope to the most unsuspecting of recipients.

-Hannah