Home > Faith, The Work Day > Flower Letter from my Father

Flower Letter from my Father

Have you ever had an encounter with God? A time when you know God interacted with you directly, personally? It may not have been by way of an audible, James Earl Jones-sounding voice that made the ground below your feet shake. God speaks in many ways and if you are receptive to his voice, you’ll know. His message will be clear and specific.

Recently, I had an encounter with God on an ordinary morning in November. Earlier, while attending a women’s conference, I received a laminated, postcard-sized spiritually motivating thought, decorated with a picture of a beautiful purple flower. The message spoke about the struggles women face and through it all, we are still special to God. At the end of the card’s message were instructions to pass the card on to another woman of worth. Instead, I intended to hoard the card to myself, to use it for personal inspiration from time to time. Perhaps I’ll keep it at my desk at work, I decided. I dropped it into my purse. On the way to work, however, guilt tugged at me and I decided to give it to a coworker. When I arrived at work, however, something told me to give it to a different coworker, one who has been facing personal and work-related challenges, but she has faced each one with a smile and professionalism. I obeyed the voice inside and presented the card to her instead. She was happy to receive it, and I was happy to pass it on.

The day progressed with its usual tasks—the good and the not so fun. Late in the afternoon when I was expecting materials from a vendor, the receptionist called to tell me there was something at the front desk for me. I thought I would be collecting seminar booklet and other workshop materials that would be needed in the next day’s training session. I was so immersed in preparing for the event that it was easy to surprise me. A floral arrangement had arrived for me for no special occasion. It was from a friend to let me know someone was thinking about and praying for me. Someone in my church family and Someone who is Lord of my life. The gift was full of messages from God, like good wishes written on a leg cast after a skiing accident.

The message on the florist’s card assured me that my friend was thinking of me. A little booklet, “First Aid for the Spirit”, came with the flowers, and I bookmarked the page that read “God has made me laugh and all who hear will laugh with me” (Genesis 21:6 NKJV). Sarah was speaking of her late-in-life motherhood experience, but God had given me a cheery heart and joy to share. My friend had also stuffed a wallet card inside the booklet that reminds me that I am special, one of a kind and that I can make it through anything.

Brighten the corner where you are.

I selected a prominent place on my desk for my flowers, a corner for them to brighten. I sat back in my chair and looked. In the midst of my busy office, I felt solitude, and I was able to ‘read’ the flower letter from God. The message unfolded before my eyes as clearly as if God had written on my cubicle wall with his finger. Every element of the arrangement had been inspired for me specifically, not by my sisterfriend, but by my unseen Friend.

• Like the vase—He holds my life an all that I experience. He sees through it like glass.

• The green netting represents my hands at my workplace as I gave the card of encouragement and cheer to another woman.

• The green and purple flowers represent my work environment, as these are my company’s colors.

From there, the arrangement directs the eye upward.

• The carnations are ordinary, as I regard myself, but He is telling me, “Be more like the bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae, my favorite flower).” See how she holds her head up. She’s strong. She’s beautiful. She’s special to me.”

Bold and beautiful

• There are two carnations but only one bird of paradise in the arrangement. Stop comparing yourself to carnations.

Not an expert on flowers by any stretch of the imagination, I marvel at the bird of paradise, wondering if it might possibly be close to if not actually perfect. Its birdlike head is erect, its ‘crest’ bright and colorful, spread out like a peacock’s feathers. The stem and bract are firm. It’s just lovely to look at.

I have admired the bird of paradise since I first saw them. I remember looking for them in cut-flower bunches being sold on the streets of Boston as I emerged from the subway during the day’s commute. For a few dollars they decorated my desk cheerfully. I would buy them early in the week to enjoy them for the remainder of the week. The flower also grows in a bluish color, too, but I prefer the striking orange/red/deep blue combination. When I look at it, I can see the bird’s face.

The sender doesn’t know me well enough to know if I even like flowers, so I know this gift was God inspired. He speaks to us in different—personal—ways. An open heart will ‘hear’ and know.

  1. November 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    God does indeed speak in many different ways. Sometimes our beliefs can cloud our judgements and perhaps God could speak a bit more clearly. Last night I enjoyed watching a programme called Horizon on the BBC which asked whether Science has made God redundant. The conclusion was that it hasn’t. The discoveries of Science can make a belief in God seem irrational but I find that they often show that there is an over-arching control, at least in the way that our universe was set up. In the big things God can seem very ‘hands off’ but God can certainly touch our lives in the small details 🙂

    ps – I love Carnations. Also, I once embarrassed my wife-to-be by delivering a bunch paradise flowers to her workplace (can’t say exactly where as it’s MoD property!) 🙂

  2. November 11, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Thanks for your comments. Actually, I believe science can only go so far . . . then what? There’s proof all around us that He is, but sometimes it’s in those small details that we actually start to believe it.

    I like carnations, too. They’re definitely more affordable. But I’m more impressed by the BOP. Your wife-to-be was very lucky (for lack of a better word)! That’s so cool.

    • November 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm

      Science will go as far as God will allow it. Human intellect is God’s gift and thereby the limiting factor – how far will we be allowed to see? 🙂

      I love her (though she is now my wife) – what more can I say 😉

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