The Rejected Flowers
Kay Fletcher of Brentwood, CA, USA
Jesus Christ, the embodiment of God’s shalom, invites all people to come and receive divine peace in the midst of the difficult questions and struggles of life. Follow Christ in the way that leads to God’s peace and discover the blessings of all of the dimensions of salvation. -Doctrine and Covenants 163:2a
We moved to a new neighborhood in the summer of 2016, and I was determined to meet the neighbors. I soon realized our small cul-de-sac had a diversity of nationalities, languages, and religions. I wondered how I would build bridges to the Vietnamese family that didn’t speak English, two African-American families, a Muslim family, and two young families with children. I started with just saying hello, then timing my walk to the mailbox to extend the greeting, and later walking with a neighbor walking her dogs. This was an ordinary and safe way of getting to know people-nothing grand.
In November the county interfaith organization sponsored a support rally for our Muslim sojourners. My husband and I attended and received a poster showing people of all nationalities along with the words “We Love All People.” I became more determined to build a relationship with my neighbors, wanting my actions to be consistent with the Enduring Principles.
Shortly after moving in, I was surprised with flowers on my front porch. After reading the address label, I thought they had been delivered to the wrong house and belonged to the Muslim family. I was delighted to connect with them by delivering the flowers to their home. Later, I saw the woman walking a child in front of my house. When I stepped out to introduce myself, she immediately asked why I returned the flowers she had sent to greet me to the neighborhood. I was completely aghast that I had done that.
I apologized and tried to reassure her that I was certain there was a misunderstanding. Later I realized why I misinterpreted the label on the flowers. I bought a scarf for her and went to her home to explain my mistake and ask forgiveness. We embraced warmly, and she accepted my gift with a promise to have tea together.
The Pursuit of Peace, Unity in Diversity, and the Worth of All Persons call me to have courage to risk new relationships and become a blessing of God’s love and peace.
“…all things in God and God in all things” (Mechthild of Magdeburg).
Reflecting on Presence
Breathe deeply and become present to the Presence with you here and now. Take a few moments in the silence to reflect prayerfully on the following questions:
Where have you been aware of God’s presence in your life?
What is God’s invitation to you in this story?
How do you desire to be more open to God’s presence and invitation tomorrow?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.