Volunteers loaded the black vans with roses of every color, with tulips close to bloom, with balloons saying “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
Jeff and I drove off in one last Friday morning, volunteering to help a local florist (a great friend of Manna House) with her Valentine deliveries.
Everywhere we later walked in—elementary school offices, Lowe’s, business complexes—women lit up when they saw the beautiful flowers coming.
It was the last delivery of the morning to a small office building in Research Park. I walked in with a dozen red roses. The woman at the desk looked up. But instead of smiling, she scowled, “I thought I was avoiding all this since Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday.”
I smiled in sympathy (because I do understand the sentiment; I’ve been there myself). Then told her I had a delivery for Kristi.
“What?” she said. I saw the look of shock in her face: “That’s me!”
It changed everything.
Valentine’s Day was suddenly exciting and fun.
It became personal. And when things become personal, it changes everything.
When someone gives you flowers, when it’s your child who is sick, when the promotion goes to you, when it’s your car breaking down, your perspective shifts.
If you don’t want to be in the same place next year that you are this year, if you need a better attitude, if you want to grow in your faith and spiritual maturity, embrace personal encounters.
- Get to know somebody unlike you.
- Show up somewhere different.
- Help someone you’ve been afraid of.
These might be angels unaware, the least of these, the manifestations of Jesus for you to meet, feed, visit.
I’ll never hear the story the receptionist told her friends that night about receiving red roses unexpectedly. But I can guess her view of Valentine’s Day was changed forever.
Be open to fresh encounters. Ask for them. Welcome them.
When you are directly affected, you are decidedly changed.
“What? That’s me!”
Take God personally. You’re the one he’s delivering to. The flowers are for you.
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Have you changed your mind about something because of a personal encounter? We’d love to hear your story in the comments.
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