Well, thought Sylvia, they still look reasonable. I’ll just pull out the wilted greenery at the back and put in fresh leaves, and they’ll be fine for tomorrow.
Sylvia was looking at the flowers in the church, which she had arranged for Easter day the previous week. She wasn‘t very happy with them at first. When she found out she was on the roster for Easter day, she was all excited! Now’s my chance, she thought, to do something really spectacular. I’ll use gold chrysanthemums, and those creamy white ones,…
Sylvia had all sorts of plans for the flowers, and each week during Lent as she sat in church, she would plan them in her head.
But when it came to the week of Easter, it was with a sinking feeling that she realized that there were no chrysanthemums in her garden anywhere near ready for picking. There had been an awful lot of dry weather, and the council had banned using hoses to water the garden, so she would just have to make do with what there was.
All her plans for a symphony of gold and cream flew out the window, and it was with a rather grumpy attitude that she ventured outside on Easter Saturday, secateurs in hand, to try and find something that would fit her colour scheme.
But there was nothing at all, just deep red roses, and Leucadendron, and sedum.
Then the light went on. Maybe God was trying to tell her something, and she abandoned her plan. Sylvia had wanted to glorify God in her own special way, with an elegant colour scheme, that would bend to her plan. But God had other plans. She would have to use what was there. Well, she thought, I’m a bit like these flowers myself, a bit of a second choice really. I mean, I don’t have a glamorous public ministry or anything, just behind-the-scenes things like the flowers, and taking my elderly friends to home group.
As she looked at the deep reds glowing in the vase, Sylvia realised that they were like blood! Not in a sad sort of way, but rather triumphantly standing out against the cream wall behind the altar.
That’s what the resurrection is like! she realized. Jesus has taken something painful and a bit scary, like blood, and transformed it, redeemed it, from signifying death and pain, to a glowing, stained-glass tribute to life, to the Living one, coming through death with the keys in his hand!
It was with a lighter heart that Sylvia topped up the water in the vases ready for the Sunday. She had a new appreciation of Easter, and couldn’t wait to tell her friends at home group.