Dr. Brandt relates the following story:
One Sunday morning I arrived early at the church where I was to speak. There was only one person in the auditorium. She was in front of the platform, arranging flowers in a basket. Perhaps a dozen varieties of flowers were masterfully arranged so that each flower was displayed at its best, colorful and delicate. The arrangement couldn’t have been more beautiful.
I approached the platform and said to the lady, “You sure have done a beautiful job arranging those flowers.”
She turned around. I saw an angry-looking woman who growled, “I do it every Sunday. I am stuck with this job. No one else will do it. I’m sick and tired of getting up early enough to be the first one here.” She wasn’t really talking to me. She was venting an angry, rebellious spirit. She sputtered on to remark that no one appreciated her work.
“Who are you?” she asked, suddenly realizing that she was talking to a stranger.
“I’m the visiting speaker,” I replied.
“Oh,” she gasped. “Oh … welcome to our church.”
It was an awkward, embarrassing moment for both of us. The mood of the moment didn’t fit with the beauty of the flowers and the fragrance in the air.
Later, from the platform, I noticed the same lady. She seemed radiant and cheerful; a note in the bulletin gave her credit for the flowers. Even though she was deceptively charming, she was still suffering from the consequences of sin and didn’t know it.
If she were to acknowledge her sin of deception and anger and rebellion, she would be able to repent and ask God to clean up her heart. She would be able to rejoice and enjoy the privilege of meeting with the Lord alone on Sunday mornings as she worships in His presence by working with the beautiful, fragrant flowers that He has created.
What a pity to let sin steal away such a privilege when cleansing of the heart is just a prayer away and a life of freedom is there waiting.
The names and certain details in this story have been changed to protect each person’s identity and privacy.