I’m an optimist. All through middle and high school, when Valentine’s Day rolled around I fully expected to hear my name called over the intercom to come get roses sent to me by an unknown admirer. Then I planned to carry them from class to class so that the whole world (meaning the kids who were cooler than me) would know someone loved me. Didn’t happen.
Then there was that one year my mother sent me flowers. Right. Flowers from my mom. How uncool is that? Okay, yeah, they were pretty, but when you’re a self-centered, egomaniacal teenager, flowers from your mom just aren’t good enough.
Thank goodness I’m not a teenager anymore (seriously, who would do those years over?!?). And as an adult I know something I didn’t know then. Flowers from my mom are WAY cooler than flowers from some boy.
My mom loved me from the moment she knew I was swimming around in amniotic fluid. And sending me a rose with baby’s breath in a bud vase on Valentine’s Day spoke of pure love. So did the bouquet of flowers Dad hid in the fridge (he took out the food and the shelves so it would fit) to give to me the day I graduated college. So did the florist-delivered flowers my husband sent pretending they were from Thistle to thank me for all the walks.
Those flowers said LOVE more than any teenage, February 14, hothouse rose ever could.
But the very best flowers I’ve ever received have come from my Father. They come when spring rolls around and crisp, white bloodroot pops up along woodland trails. When a pink lady’s-slipper appears in a spot I’m sure to see. When I wish for wild honeysuckle and a shrub shows up along the ditch line across from the mailbox. When the lilacs are so fragrant I smell them as Thistle and I head out for a walk.
God is forever giving me flowers. More than I could count or hold or appreciate. He gives me flowers without my asking and whether I thank him or not. He gives me flowers because he loves me. Already I can see the tips of daffodil stems peeping through the snow and the Lenten roses are almost ready to lift their leafy heads. Now that’s the best Valentine ever.