Our daughter, Beth, recently spent five days in the hospital with abdominal pain, vomiting, and dehydration. The picture above was taken on the day she was released (the heart of the problem was finally determined to be the gallbladder which was removed a week later.) As we gathered her things and prepared to leave the hospital she exclaimed, "Don't forget my flowers!" These were very special flowers indeed...
The flowers were brought to her by her brother who lives about 100 miles away. We had been keeping him posted on her condition; but on the night he learned that surgery might be scheduled, he decided to drive to Tulsa so he could spend some time with his sister. Her mother and I had been taking turns staying with her during her entire stay. I usually stayed during the afternoon and early evening and Kristi came to be with her through the night and next morning; so, she was not with out company. Further, friends came by to see her and encourage her. But it was especially meaningful when her brother arrived by surprise: He came to be with her, to encourage her, and to pray with her; and he also came bearing flowers. Neither Beth, her mother, nor I could have guessed that he would come with this special gift. It was in many ways a simple gift, but it was one that truly made her hospital stay special.
Sometimes we are unaware of the power of simple acts of caring. But this gift of caring is one that Beth will remember for a long, long time. It was a reminder to me that "sowing seeds of kindness" can eventually bring a harvest of appreciation and joy.
The writer of Hebrews says, "For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true." (Heb. 6:10-12). There is no doubt about it; caring acts can be a wonderful expression of our love. Further, according to the writer of Hebrews, our acts of love and care for others are an expression of our service and work for Him!
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.