When our church recently hosted a very large celebration of a life well-lived, the family left many beautiful flowers with us, inviting us to take and share them with others. Our Flower Delivery Ministry Team, which has been featured in a prior article, does this kind of dividing into vases on Sunday mornings, and then taking to members who might be at home or in the hospital. But this funeral was on a Monday, and our team could not really handle this.
On this particular Monday, when we had been gifted with all of these flowers, GOOD came from "not so good" as a few very caring members hurriedly met, divided and arranged these many flowers. Another list was drawn up of members whose lives could use an extra dose of joy, and 14 vases were ready to be delivered.
Just the week prior, one of our members and his daughter had asked if she could obtain some community service hours doing work at church. They were assigned the task of delivering Easter flowers. They had worked carefully with the list of members' names given them, plotting directions and driving from home to home delivering those beautiful pot plants that many of you had donated. One week later, they willingly agreed to deliver the leftover funeral flowers. I got to meet and hug the young lady who "needed" the service hours to give her the box of vases they would be delivering. She and her dad shared with me how happy they were in the delivering of the Easter plants, and they considered it a joy to be able to do this once more.
"All things working together" became complete for me when I received a call from one of our members. She didn't know how or who to thank, but she knew she wanted to tell me so I could pass it on. Here is her story!
"J" cares for her husband in their home due to his health complications. J received a phone call from the young flower delivery lady trying to find her home to deliver flowers to J's husband. The delivery car had gotten turned around and when J asked our young helper where she was, it was quite a ways away. J suggested they stay on the phone and J talked her all the way to their home! J was delighted to make the acquaintance of this young lady and father, and equally excited to take the flowers in to her husband. She read the card to him. Their church family remembers and cares about them, even if they cannot come to church every Sunday anymore. J and her husband were so very touched that their new friends gave the gifts of time, persistence and flowers! And then J completed that circle so I could share her joy with all who are reading!
This is why we use the picture of a puzzle piece. This is why we call it Volunteer Connection. Connecting in service to meet the needs of others is what I think it's all about.
I am grateful for all of the stories I hear, and for all of the ones I will never get to know. But I am especially grateful that we can trust God's Word that HE will work good out of all things for those who love Him. Following the sadness of a funeral, the generous donation of flowers left behind, the need for community service hours... Good being accomplished in joy, being spread through the delivery of flowers to those stuck at home when they would rather be able to get out more often, and in joy being shared in gratitude and thanksgiving. Praise be to God!