For some time I have had a person provide me with a rose boutonniere to pin on the lapel of my suit every Sunday. Because I always got a flower on Sunday morning, I really did not think much of it. It was a nice gesture that I appreciated, but it became routine. One Sunday, however, what I considered ordinary became very special.
As I was leaving the Sunday service a young man approached me. He walked right up to me and said, “Sir, what are you going to do with your flower?” At first I did not know what he was talking about, but then I understood.
I said, “Do you mean this?” as I pointed to the rose pinned to my coat.
He said, “Yes, sir. I would like it if you are just going to throw it away.” At this point I smiled and gladly told him that he could have my flower, casually asking him what he was going to do with it. The little boy, who was probably less than 10 years old, looked up at me and said, “Sir, I'm going to give it to my granny. My mother and father got divorced last year. I was living with my mother, but when she married again, she wanted me to live with my father. I lived with him for a while, but he said I could not stay, so he sent me to live with my grandmother. She is so good to me. She cooks for me and takes care of me. She has been so good to me that I want to give that pretty flower to her for loving me.”
When the little boy finished I could hardly speak. My eyes filled with tears and I knew I had been touched in the depths of my soul. I reached up and unpinned my flower. With the flower in my hand, I looked at the boy and said, “Son, that is the nicest thing I have ever heard, but you can't have this flower because it's not enough. If you'll look in front of the pulpit, you'll see a big bouquet of flowers. Different families buy them for the church each week. Please take those flowers to your granny because she deserves the very best.”
If I hadn't been touched enough already, he made one last statement and I will always cherish it. He said, “What a wonderful day! I asked for one flower but got a beautiful bouquet.”
Pastor John R. Ramsey