“What? That’s just crazy. There is no way I am doing that!” words spoken out loud to an empty room.
I just can’t do it. I won’t.
“Bring a flower to your friend. A just because flower to your friend.” I had never done that in my life….given a flower to a friend “just because”.
Nope. Not gonna do it.
Okay…so maybe some of you have done this for a friend. And you’re confused by my reluctance. But me, Robyn, oh never, ever had I given such a flower. Oh I’ve purchased flowers for women before – you know, Mother’s Day, funerals, congratulations, celebrations, house warming’s or to welcome a new baby. But out of the blue just sounded, well, crazy to me.
And did I mention she was my boss? Now don’t get me wrong. This woman has a huge heart. But if this didn’t go well, my day could be awkwardly miserable. Maybe if it was to someone else. Maybe…
I crossed off that little flower message, right out of my head. No need for “just because” frivolous emotion. Whew!
I won’t do that! Just because…and you know exactly why!
So two days later, minding my own business, I hear the words again in my spirit. “Robyn, would you bring a flower to your friend?” What? I thought we had this settled two days ago.
Yes, she was my friend. Throughout the years we had shared life and held for each other its joys and heartaches. Ten months earlier her husband sadly met an unexpected and tragic death. We were more than colleagues.
Yet, I still thought the whole idea was absurd. And this time the instructions were quite specific. One “rose” for a friend.
Now, in my world to be given a rose meant that you shared a great intimacy – a lover type intimacy. Sacred promises of love and devotion were symbolized by the rose. Surely God remembered that part of my story. Did He know what He was asking? Fired with abuse, a rose was a big deal.
I just can’t do that! Please don’t ask me. NO!!
There was no guilt for saying no. I was quite certain in my response. It didn’t haunt dreams. I never gave it a second thought during the day. After all, God had only asked if I would give a rose. He hadn’t commanded me. So, I really thought the whole thing was settled.
About a week later on an early August morning, I heard the words for the third time. I was blow drying my hair as I got ready for work. “UGH! OKAY! I will do it. Then maybe you will get off my back about all of this!” Not happy at all, I continued to get ready for work.
Running late and filled with purchase anxiety, I told God I had no time to run around all over town. I’d make one stop, the nearest grocery store. Parking quickly, I let Him know that I would do what He asked, but it would have to be a yellow rose – a symbol of friendship, nothing to be misunderstood. And if there were no yellow roses in the floral department, the deal was off.
I rushed towards the entrance. Quickly walking to the floral department I had no time for delays. Looking up, my body stopped abruptly. Stunned unable to move, the sight took my breath away.
There it was!
Nestled tightly among dozens of red roses was a solitary yellow rose bud. “Whoa God, okay you have my attention!” Its brilliance radiated. And there were no others to be found in the store. I looked.
I almost fell to my knees. “Okay, I can do this.” I spoke out loud.
“Excuse me? May I help you?” a voice behind the counter summoned from the crimson mass. I requested the single yellow rose. “Just one?” he asked. “It would sure look pretty with a few others.” At this point, I wasn’t about to impose any other criteria to the words I believe God had given me. Would you buy a single rose for your friend? “Thank you, this one yellow rose is perfect.”
“Special occasion?” “No, this is a just because rose for a friend.” I replied. “Well this sure is a beautiful rose. Can’t say I remember seeing it here earlier.” I smiled and shared a bit of the story. He laughed, “Well then, I’m going to wrap it extra special.”
Off I zoomed to work with the yellow rose by my side. Hoping as I neared that my boss had not arrived, so I could secretly place the rose on her desk in the office we shared. You know, not actually give it to her directly. Yes, I was still anxious about the whole rose idea. Actually rather nauseous, I began to doubt the whole adventure.
Okay, I can do this. I want to do this, right?
Grateful for a full client list, I quickly found myself occupied. Out of the corner of my eye I saw her arrive, enter our office and moments later silently close the door. My heart skipped into my throat. A deep breath calmed my anxious nerves, quelled further by rational thoughts that she often closed the door for private telephone conferences.
This August day was her wedding anniversary; the first without her beloved husband. With glistening eyes she told me about that date years ago. She had cold feet and was running late. On the table in her dressing room lay a single rose from her betrothed – a visible proclamation of his love.
Yes…a single yellow rose. “No one knows that story Robyn.”
So of course, I shared the story of the yellow rose that lay upon her desk. I confessed my struggle and the forgotten significance of the August date. She remarked how God knew He had to start asking early so the rose would arrive on time. We both laughed.
After the glow of the moment departed, shame filled my heart. Rebellious, sassy, irreverent, selfish, unfaithful, were a few of the words that screamed through my mind.
Maybe some of you thought these same words. So yeah, I’m a woman who doubts, a woman who clearly speaks her mind to even the God of the Universe. At times I lack faith. Question hope and struggle to love.
And yes, God knows my story. This day was not only about hearing His voice for my friend’s heart. It also shined light into a fearful dark space in my little girl heart. My world didn’t end with a just because rose. I can trust Him with my fears and emotions.
And I do know His voice. He knows I will follow.
Plus – and I love this part, He knows me and delights interacting with me…even if and because it might take three times. Ultimately, my heart wants to walk where God asks me to go. And yes, I’ll have plenty to say along the way. He created that in me. I’m not too much. After all, He’s the God of the Universe.
As long as we keep talking…I know I can do that!
Robyn Whitaker lives in Texas with her beloved husband of 32 years. She has an adventurous heart that is learning to breathe. Lover of truth, seeker of story, aspiring author and newborn dreamer, this mother of three is in search of redemption and living her Kingdom purpose. Robyn writes here.