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Flowers Before The Funeral

Last night, Dale and I watched a movie called “The Greatest”. It was a story about a young boy who longed to play football but was always made fun of for his size and was told he never would. His great faith in God allowed him to do the impossible, but his life was tragically ended when he was hit by an 18-wheeler just after he had been drafted into the NFL.

The movie depicted a funeral scene where the high school football team took a ton of beautiful potted flowers and spelled out on the football field “to trust”, because that’s what he would always say, “We just have to trust God.”

As I thought about that movie and all the accolades, eulogies, and kind words spoken about this young man, and spelled out in flowers, I thought, “Why do we wait til they are gone to express how wonderful they were to us?”

In the last little bit, I have lost two people who impacted my life: Pastor Wayne Linderman and my friend Peggy Baker.

Bro. Wayne believed in my gifting as a singer, and not only gave me opportunity, but equipped me how to sing better and express my heart as I sang as I watched him. He made a call and got me an audition to sing in A Capella choir at Samford University where I received a scholarship in voice and was able to go there and receive my degree. That’s also the season when I met my husband. I never fully told Bro. Wayne how he impacted my life. I regret that.

Peggy and I became friends because we both shared a compassion for women who were incarcerated. We rode together each week to Tutwiler prison for an hour each way and our friendship and love for one another grew in those sweet conversations. We met at California Pizza Kitchen (she liked that place!) and dreamed about a place that one day would offer next step housing for those who got a second chance at life after prison. She was my biggest fan and encouraged and never once had anything negative to say but listened, love and prayed with me. I did get to share this with Peggy a year before the Lord took her suddenly home in her sleep. I miss her, but I am so thankful I got to tell her what she meant to me. So, I have been on the side of regret and the side of gratitude when it comes to telling others what an impact they have made on my life. The gratitude side is so much more gratifying.

Why do we wait? Does it make us vulnerable? What are we afraid it will do?

My sweet friend, Bianca, made a statement as she spoke about someone who was an encouragement to her at a pivotal point in her life, “I’m gonna give flowers while they are still living.” and that so resonated with me.

The Bible says it like this, “Encourage one another daily while it is still called Today.” Hebrews 13:3

Many years ago, a song came out called “You don’t bring me flowers.” Talking about a love grown cold. I believe we are living in a culture where no one is bringing flowers anymore. No one is giving life-giving encouraging words to those who have invested time, money, love, encouragement, hope, prayer, etc. in them. If they do, they wait till after they are gone.

We’ve got Mother’s Day and Father’s Day approaching. You have mothers and fathers, spiritual mothers and fathers, heart mothers and fathers, and people who have loved and believed in you and prayed for you when no one else was there and you felt all alone. Bring them flowers. Not necessarily physical ones, but words. Words of what they have meant to you. The Bible says our words can be life-giving (Proverbs 18:21), and this world and God’s people need some life breathed on them.

Beloved, let’s bring the flowers before the funeral. Step through your pride and fear and let’s say what we need to say before it’s too late. Let’s bring others flowers before their funeral.

I love you,

Jena

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