Sunday, April 6, 2008

On Finding Flowers

It's just begun to get warm in central Illinois -- just jacket kind of weather. The grass is still mostly that dead brownish-yellow of winter. So, a few days ago I was surprised to notice what looked like a couple purple flowers in the middle of my yard. I didn't have time to go investigate, but I've noticed them the last few days as I've whizzed this way and that.

It's also been a rocky week emotionally. Mostly, it is because I took a risk earlier in the week in a family relationship. I had actually gone back and forth for over a month about if asking this particular thing of this person was "wise" or not. On one hand, I knew it would sting emotionally if it didn't turn out the way I hoped. On the other hand, I thought that if I didn't try, didn't ask, I would always wonder. In reality, I would be shutting the door as surely as the "No" I feared.

With a prayer, I sent my request via email. I tried to think through all the things that might be a hindrance and addressed them upfront. That was Monday. I waited all day and then on Tuesday and Wednesday. Finally, I got the response Thursday late afternoon. It was what I had feared -- a "No."

Part of me says, "At least I tried." The other part of me says, "But it hurts!" I've batted it all back and forth all weekend. And as I drove home from church, I found it creeping in again.

As I came out of the garage, my attention turned back to those flowers. I went over to have a peek. They were indeed purple flowers, but to my dismay, they were plastic. Fakes. Finding flowers when you least expect it seems fun. Finding fake flowers, well it's just a bit of a bummer!

This afternoon I had a shift at the bookstore. A woman walked up. She was wearing glasses. The skin above her glasses and eyes was all red. I was about to comment, "It looks like you got a bit of sun on your face." Luckily, God stilled my tongue. And she began, "I know you probably don't take returns, . . ." I tried to say that we did, but she pressed on. "But there are extenuating circumstances." I pulled a book on multiple pregnancies from the crumpled sack. "I miscarried yesterday," she said. The redness was not from sun but tears.

My manager was standing right there at the time. We both assured her we would take it back. But she wanted to look at something else perhaps about miscarriage but she hesitated too. My manager took her to the right section and helped her find a book, . . . .

It just puts it all in perspective. Does the response I got still hurt? Yes. But I cannot imagine losing a child or perhaps more than one at once.

And as for the flowers I took as an affront upon finding they were fake . . . . Well, no one put those there to fool me. In fact, the idea of there being purple flowers there was kind of fun and an encouraging sign of spring -- of things yet to come. They added a dash of color to a dreary landscape. Even if they were not real, I can be thankful for that and the reminder that spring and summer and real purple flowers are coming.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi- My name is Amy Brooke also. I am now married so I added my married name to it. Enjoyed reading your blog.