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Yesterday a member of the writers’ critique group that met in my home said to me, “Are you going to write about the ministry of flowers?” I looked at her, startled.

The ministry of flowers?

“The bouquet of flowers in your powder room made me feel good,” she said.

Earlier that morning I had filled an antique crystal perfume bottle with small flowers from my garden: lavender, lily of the valley, columbine, chive blossoms, catmint. I often put flowers in my powder room, especially when guests are coming, but this was the first time anyone had ever commented on them.

My mind time-traveled back twenty years to an occasion when I was profoundly touched by a bouquet of flowers. After living in Uganda for six months, we had made the difficult day-long road trip to Nairobi, Kenya, where we had initially touched down in Africa. Our first impressions of Nairobi weren’t totally positive, but now it seemed clean and orderly after the devastation we had seen in Uganda.  We were heading for a short family vacation to counteract our physical and emotional exhaustion caused by the stress of adjusting to our life in Africa. We were hoping to forget for a couple of weeks the pit toilets, pot-holed roads, empty shops, and cultural disorientation.

Missionary friends invited us to join them at the Simba Saloon, a famous restaurant frequented by tourists and expats. After ordering, I excused myself and I walked into the ladies’ room. I was momentarily stunned. It was spotlessly clean, smelled good, and had a working flush toilet. When I saw the bouquet of fresh flowers that graced the counter, I burst into tears, overwhelmed that someone had cared enough to create and maintain a pleasant public place.

Have YOU experienced the ministry of flowers?

Why do flowers affect us differently than other gifts?

I’d love to hear your comments!