Sunday, August 29, 2010
Brenda and the orchid
For at least twenty years, I have been meeting with a group of friends to share our faith.
I don't know if we are steel magnolias, but we have seen each other through deaths of spouses and siblings,illnesses ,dramas of our children and many good times.Mostly, we share what the Lord is doing in our lives and how we might be serving Him.There are five of us.
Two weeks ago, we met at my house to celebrate a birthday of one of the other members and when Brenda arrived, she handed me an orchid in a pot and one in water.I got chills up my arms,down my back and in my feet.I am getting them again as I type.Let me explain.
Twice this month, I was at Kroger when I passed their plant department.Amassed there were gorgeous orchids with white, pink and purple blooms and one marked a bit lower in price because it had lost it's flowers.I wanted that orphan.Both times,I left the store without it because I didn't need it.I really wanted it,though.
What Brenda handed me was exactly the plant I had wanted.How does this happen?
I first met Brenda when her daughter was 15 years old and in my Sunday school class.She was one of my favorite students,a loving ,sweet girl; sadly her father was dying during that year.Her fellow students formed a loving community around her and I felt blessed to be part of that.Her daughter is now 38 years old,so Brenda and I have a long history.It is so easy to love Brenda.She is possessed of a wonderful smile,a gold medal hug and is constantly looking for ways to serve her Lord.The stunning thing about what happened is that this is not the first time Brenda has known my wishes without my saying a word.
Twelve years ago,I was driving home from work on the freeway and I saw a billboard sign for Noritake china and glass products.The ad was attractive and I thought,"Oh, I would like a piece of that." Two days later, our group met for my birthday and I unwrapped Brenda's gift, a perfect bud vase.The box said Noritake.
Are these coincidences? How does this work?Brenda had probably purchased the vase before I had that thought.But I had passed that sign hundreds of times without even noticing it very much.Is there a special connection between people that pray together?Or does the Lord know the desires of our hearts and uses others to show His love?
This is what I believe to be true. Brenda,being open,was the vessel the Lord used to let me know that He sees and the desire of His heart is to bless me.This plant is much more than an orchid.It is a mystery and a sign and I am humbled by it.