Have you ever really thought about flowers? I mean really pondered how lovely each delicate blossom truly is and how many different kinds and colors and personalities there are and the fact that they’re all from the Father’s hand? How creative and beautiful and wonderful God must be to come up with the big, sunny sunflower and to paint the regal rose. I love them all from the dainty little violets to the old-fashioned hydrangeas and from the tantalizing smell of my gardenias to everybody’s favorite, those spunky gerbera daisies. I love the way my forsythia heralds the spring with its yellow bells, but my very favorite of all is the camellia.
Bronner, my special angel baby, went to heaven January 19th, 2008 just after we had purchased an 80-acre farm in Jemison, Alabama with a sweet little farmhouse on it. I had envisioned him growing up going to the farm, running in the big hay field, learning to fish from the pond, riding on the four-wheeler with me or his dad. He only got to go there a few times, but he was all about it. He was all boy and would have loved a childhood with that to go to.
We hadn’t yet furnished the little house when he was around, but I had talked about it with a decorator friend of mine. I called her after Bronner went to heaven and asked was there any way she could get some mattresses or something down there because I knew I wouldn’t want to go home after his memorial service.
She did so much more than that. She and another decorator friend furnished that whole little farmhouse in a matter of two days. And we did go down there that night after the memorial, and we stayed there in our little sanctuary for about three months. It didn’t take me long to find my beautiful camellia bush blossoming its rosy blooms, and I thought, “You, little flowering bush, must be from Bronner, a gift for his mommy when she is hurting so badly for him.”
My camellia bloomed for me when nothing else was blooming, nothing within or without. I now see that camellia as Bronner’s way of saying to me, “It may not seem like it now, but I’m blooming. I’m just as alive as I ever was, and I’m going to send you little reminders of it throughout your life starting with this camellia, a flower for my mommy.”
I never was one to cut flowers out of my yard and put them on my table before then. I just didn’t think to do it, but I cut some blossoms off that camellia bush, put them in a vase, and set them on my table to remind me of my baby blooming in heaven for me and waiting on his mommy and daddy to join him. Since then, I do it a lot, and if there’s nothing blooming in my yard, I’ll pick them up from the market.
Over the Christmas holidays, I found a lovely bouquet with red gerbera daisies, red roses, and the branches of evergreens that was just perfect… for about a week. One day Brody and I were sitting at the kitchen table where that Christmas bouquet was on its last leg when Brody, my eight-year-old poignant and pensive son, said, “I hate when flowers die.” That’s all he said; “I hate when flowers die.” What a profound statement from a young boy. “I hate when flowers die.”
“I do too, Brody.” That’s all I said, and we sat there in silence pondering the death of our flowers. I’ve thought about that a lot since that December day and wondered at how flowers are so beautiful and bring such joy. The only thing is… they don’t last. They’re here today and gone tomorrow, but aren’t they just like everything else? We see it played out in the flowers so clearly because their blooms last for such a short while, but that 200-year-old oak will one day die too. Everything is passing away, all but the word of the Lord which says that we are to set our minds on things above not on earthly things because what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.
Jesus said from the Mount of Beatitudes, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth not rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
God wants us to know and shows us over and over and over again that this world is not all there is and the earth isn’t what it will be, but there will come a day when He will say “Behold, I make all things new.” Heaven and the earth will be made new, and God will dwell with us on that new earth. We, who have acknowledged our need for a Savior and have put our faith in Jesus Christ as that Savior, will be His people. He will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore. In that day, the prophet Isaiah tells us the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.
Maybe that child will be Bronner.
I’m looking forward to that day. On that day, I will have my Bronner back. On that day, sin and death will be no more. On that day, I will look upon the face of my Savior and be held in the arms of a Father. I know it’s coming. I know it just as I know the daffodils will come in springtime, and I say, “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.” Amen.