We have a flower bed off our front porch that has been a challenge to fill with flowers that will thrive. It’s a mostly shady area because of our large Golden Rain Tree whose branches provide that shade in abundance. However, through some pruning of the branches over the years, and some further pruning of a huge bush beside the flower bed, there is now a little more light that comes into that area. I’ve tried a large variety of plants and flowers over the years in that spot, but even now with a little more sun, finding a plant that will keep growing has been difficult.
This year I decided to plant several flowers in that bed, flowers that are designed to bloom in shade or partial shade. I’m still not tremendously pleased with how they have done this year. I’m just not seeing the huge display of blooms all summer that I had hoped to see. One of the flowers that I chose to plant are Gerbera Daisies. They bloomed for awhile….at least enough blooms to give me hope…..but now they are just sitting there in the dirt, living but not blooming.
Except for one that put out a beautiful bloom last week. It was a perfectly formed, bright pink bloom that caught my eye when I walked outside one morning. Today the bloom is a little worse for wear, but still pretty in that sea of green. That flower is a beautiful pink splash that still draws my attention when I look outside. It doesn’t matter that it’s small……it doesn’t matter that it’s alone……it just matters that at least one of my little Gerbera Daisies decided to bloom and give me some pleasure. I doubt if anyone driving by our house even notices it, but I do, and I’m thankful for it.
That small flower reminds me of something that happened recently. Someone we know was going through a crisis with a family member. It’s not who any of you are thinking of…..it was someone else. J Anyway, I felt compelled to run to the hospital and pay this dear family a quick visit. Now I generally pull back from going to the hospital very often. It’s not because I don’t care but it’s because I always worry about being in the way, showing up at the wrong time, or just not knowing what to say or do that would be helpful. I do care for these sweet people and I felt like the Lord really wanted me to go, so I got in the van and I drove to the hospital.
The nurse on the floor helped me find the family. They were in the family lounge, waiting while a procedure was being done on their loved one. The Mom, my friend, was so happy to see me. We hugged, long tender hugs, several times. She asked me if I wanted to stay, to sit down in a nearby chair, but I said no. I told them that I just wanted them to know that they are loved and prayed for, and that I wanted to give her a hug conveying that love. I told them that they are not alone. I was there less than five minutes…..maybe three minutes. I felt like they needed time together in that otherwise empty family area…time to let down, to talk to each other, to pray….and so I gave one more hug and I left.
I walked back to the parking garage and drove home wondering if I should have stayed longer. I wondered if it looked silly for me to make such a quick visit. Did they think I didn’t care enough to sit down and talk awhile? Did I come across as uncaring? So I prayed and I asked the Lord to use that very brief visit to encourage them, the way that I intended, and I tried to quit fretting about it.
I got a text yesterday. I hesitate to say much because I don’t want to sound like I’m boasting at all, but I want this to be uplifting to each of us. This mother and friend told me that my visit was the most meaningful to them, and how grateful they were for it. Now I was the one being encouraged! And why do I share this? Because that simple visit was like my Gerbera Daisy in my front flower bed. That very brief and plain visit turned out to be a splash of loving color in their sad and worried hearts. I felt like I didn’t accomplish much, but little did I know that God took my small effort and used it as a huge blessing in their lives.
I bet no solo I ever sang on that podium for all those years touched them like that one small visit. And I want all of you to know that you don’t have to do big things to be a needed encouragement in someone’s life. I’m not trying to build myself up…..I want to build each of you up to know that the littlest kindnesses are really huge, especially when God takes them as intended and uses them to touch a life.
My little lone Gerbera Daisy has given me a smile inwardly every time I have seen it for the past few days. And your little lone touches in a person’s life can make them smile and give them hope to keep going in ways which you may not even be aware. We don’t have to stand before hundreds, speak before crowds, write bestselling books, or any of the other multiple things that so often spell success to us. We just need to give Jesus our simple loaves and fishes, and then watch Him multiply them over and over. We have no idea of the effect of our prayers in our closet, of a card sent in the mail, of an email of encouragement, of a home cooked meal, of a simple hug, or of a phone call.
You may feel alone or ineffective, but you are never those things when you give to God your simple desires to bless others. You can be a beautiful splash of color and hope in someone’s life when you do the simplest acts with a loving heart. Remember the daisy. It doesn’t matter that it’s alone…..it doesn’t matter that it’s small….it just matters that it decided to bloom and therefore to give me great delight every time I see it.
So bloom today where God has put you. Look around and see how you can bring pleasure and delight to someone who needs that in their lives right now. And remember that it’s usually in the smallest, simplest ways that we impart those blessings to others.