This is one of those classic stories that makes the rounds every now and then. The names and the details may be unknown, but it’s what one takes away from it that is important.
“For some time now I have had someone from our congregation bring me a rose boutonniere to pin on the lapel of my suit every Sunday. Because I always got a flower on Sunday morning, I really did not think much of it. It was a nice gesture that I appreciated, but it became routine. One Sunday, however, this ordinary act became very special.
As I was leaving the Sunday service a boy around 10 years of age approached me. He walked right up to me and said, ‘Sir, what are you going to do with your flower?’
At first I did not know what he was talking about, but then I understood. I asked, ‘Do you mean this?’ as I pointed to the rose pinned to my coat.
He said, ‘Yes sir. I would like to have it if you are just going to throw it away.’ At this point I smiled and gladly told him that he could have my flower, casually asking him what he was going to do with it.
The boy looked up at me and said, ‘Sir, I’m going to give it to my granny. My mother and father got divorced last year. I was living with my mother, but when she married again, she wanted me to live with my father. I lived with him for a while, but he said I couldn’t stay, so he sent me to live with my grandma. She is so nice to me. She cooks for me and takes care of me. She has been so good to me that I want to give that pretty flower to her for loving me.’
When the boy finished I could hardly speak. I struggled to hide the tears that were welling up in my eyes as I reached up and unpinned my flower. With the flower in my hand, I looked at the boy and said, ‘Son, that is the nicest thing I have ever heard, but this flower is not enough. If you look in front of the pulpit, you’ll see a big bouquet of flowers. Different families buy them for the church each week. Please take those flowers to your granny because she deserves the very best.’
If I hadn’t been touched enough already, he made one last statement that I will always cherish. He said, ‘What a wonderful day! I asked for one flower, but got a beautiful bouquet.'”
What a beautiful instinct this young boy had to give something back to his grandmother for all the love she has bestowed on him. This sense of pure gratitude is not something we encounter every day, so it’s easy to understand why the man in the story was so touched. Maybe this boy’s pureness of heart can inspire us all to show our gratitude to those who care for us.