Flowers represent many things to many people. Love, friendship, sympathy, congratulations, praise, and decoration. I like receiving flowers just as much as anyone else, and I take the chance to “stop and smell the roses” when I happen upon some attractive-looking flora. When someone gives or receives a flower, it’s the thought that counts. Sometimes there will be an entire bouquet, along with a card expressing the intended sentiment. Other times, a single flower expresses the sentiment all on its own.
Back in Portland in the mid-1980s, when we attended Portland Victory Fellowship, Pastor David Hummel used to have a saying, “Give flowers to the living,” meaning express one’s sentiments to friends and loved ones while they can appreciate it, rather than sending flowers to a funeral. My Dad, Jimmy Jackson, has adopted the saying and repeated it many times, so much so that some might think it was his axiom originally. Nevertheless, the saying rings true. Give a flower and express a sentiment to that person that needs to hear it, today, while they can appreciate it. Eulogies of dead acquaintances do no good for the deceased, they are for the living to attach their own emotions and sentiments and remember the departed with a sense of unity with the speaker.
Those “random acts of kindness” we hear about bless the giver as much as they bless the receiver, and spreading kindness and kinship, especially during the holiday season, gives each of us those warm, fuzzy feelings we associate with the spirit of Christmas, and the Reason for the Season.
The beauty of a flower can inspire, amaze, and fill the heart with wonder. The light scent of a fresh rose can lift the spirits and touch the heart the way nothing else can.
Give flowers to the living.