Magnolia Blossoms

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Magnolia Blossoms Empty Magnolia Blossoms

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:52 pm

I spent the week before my daughter's June wedding running
last-minute trips to the caterer, florist, tuxedo shop, and
the church about forty miles away.

As happy as I was that Patsy was marrying a good Christian
young man, I felt laden with responsibilities as I watched
my budget dwindle . . .So many details, so many bills, and
so little time.

My son Jack was away at college, but he said he would be
there to walk his younger sister down the aisle, taking the
place of his dad who had died a few years before. He teased
Patsy, saying he'd wanted to give her away since she was
about three years old!

To save money, I gathered blossoms from several friends who
had large magnolia trees. Their luscious, creamy-white
blooms and slick green leaves would make beautiful
arrangements against the rich dark wood inside the church.

After the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, we
banked the podium area and choir loft with magnolias. As we
left just before midnight, I felt tired but satisfied this
would be the best wedding any bride had ever had! The music
the ceremony, the reception - and especially the flowers -
would be remembered for years.

The big day arrived - the busiest day of my life - and while
her bridesmaids helped Patsy to dress, her fiancé Tim walked
with me to the sanctuary to do a final check. When we opened
the door and felt a rush of hot air, I almost fainted; and
then I saw them - all the beautiful white flowers were
black. Funeral black. An electrical storm during the night
had knocked out the air conditioning system, and on that hot
summer day, the flowers had wilted and died.

I panicked, knowing I didn't have time to drive back to our
hometown, gather more flowers, and return in time for the

Tim turned to me. "Edna, can you get more flowers? I'll
throw away these dead ones and put fresh flowers in these

I mumbled, "Sure," as he be-bopped down the hall to put on
his cuff links.

Alone in the large sanctuary, I looked up at the dark wooden
beams in the arched ceiling.

"Lord," I prayed, "please help me. I don't know anyone in
this town. Help me find someone willing to give me flowers -
in a hurry!"

I scurried out praying for four things: the blessing of
white magnolias, courage to find them in an unfamiliar yard,
safety from any dog that may bite my leg, and a nice person
who would not get out a shotgun when I asked to cut his tree
to shreds.

As I left the church, I saw magnolia trees in the distance.
I approached a house...No dog in sight. I knocked on the
door and an older man answered. So far so good..... No

When I stated my plea the man beamed, "I'd be happy to!"

He climbed a stepladder and cut large boughs and handed them
down to me. Minutes later, as I lifted the last armload into
my car trunk, I said, "Sir, you've made the mother of a
bride happy today."

"No, Ma'am," he said. "You don't understand what's happening here."

"What?" I asked.

"You see, my wife of sixty-seven years died on Monday, on
Tuesday I received friends at the funeral home, and on
Wednesday . . . He paused. I saw tears welling up in his
eyes. "On Wednesday I buried her."

He! looked away. "On Thursday most of my out-of-town
relatives went back home, and on Friday - yesterday - my
children left."

"This morning, he continued, I was sitting in my den crying
out loud. I miss her so much. For the last sixteen years, as
her health got worse, she needed me. But now nobody needs
me. This morning I cried, Who needs an eighty-six-year-old
wore-out man? Nobody! I began to cry louder. Nobody needs

"About that time, you knocked, and said, 'Sir, I need you'."

I stood with my mouth open.

He asked, "Are you an angel? The way the light shone around
your head into my dark living room..."

I assured him I was no angel. He smiled. "Do you know what I
was thinking when I handed you those magnolias?"

"No. I decided I'm needed. My flowers are needed. Why, I
might have a flower ministry! I could give them to
everyone! Some caskets at the funeral home have no flowers.
People need flowers at times like that and I have lots of
them. They're all over the backyard! I can give them to
hospitals, churches - all sorts of places. You know what
I'm going to do? I'm going to serve the Lord until the day
He calls me home!"

I drove back to the church, filled with wonder. On Patsy's
wedding day, if anyone had asked me to encourage someone who
was hurting, I would have said, "Forget it!" It's my only
daughter's wedding, for goodness' sake! There is no way I
can minister to anyone today. But God found a way. Through
dead flowers.


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