The first girl I ever bought a flower for was named Violet. She lived in northern Ohio. I met her at summer camp in Greenfield, Ohio. We exchanged many letters and a few phone calls. I drove north to visit her at Christmas time. For a Christmas gift I bought her a beautiful leather study Bible and a few other things. In the spring we arranged to attend a banquet at my church.
One afternoon during driver’s ed. one of my schoolmates asked if I had a girlfriend. I said I did and he asked to see her picture. I showed him a nice flattering picture of Violet. She was a pretty girl with long blonde hair and blue eyes. A few days later a rumor was circulating around school that I was showing people a picture of my cousin and trying to convince people that I had a girlfriend. I was looking forward to the banquet so the truth would get out that I actually could attract the attention of a girl who was not related to me.
As the day of the banquet approached, I made all the arrangements. I secured tickets to the banquet, waxed the family car, picked a nice suit and tie for the occasion, trimmed my fingernails, and stopped by the florist to pick out a nice corsage. On the Friday of the banquet it was all I could think of. I hurried home from school to meet Violet. She was to drive in that evening an hour before the banquet and meet at our house.
Violet never came. I called her home and her dad told me she had gone to a basketball game. She had no intention of attending the banquet with me and she made no effort to communicate with me about it. I never spoke to her again. I don’t know what became of her. My dark side sometimes wishes that she married some shiftless derelict she met at the basketball game that night. That he stole her heart and broke it. That she experienced the pain she inflicted on me the night she rejected me publicly. For reasons that are obvious I try to keep my dark side out of things.
My mom suggested that I might go to the banquet alone. There would be others without a date and they would welcome my company. I didn’t have the heart to face my friends alone. I took off my tie and slumped into a chair. I could see on Mom’s face that she sensed my rejection. She left the room and came back with her Bible. She read to me of Jesus’ enduring love for me from the eighth chapter of the book of Romans.
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NKJV)
Those were comforting thoughts for a young man whose girlfriend was willing the break his heart rather than miss a high school basketball game. After letting me sit in quietness for a while I said; “I wasted a lot of money on that flower.” Mom said; “You know, Kenny, I would be honored if you would let me wear that flower to church Sunday.” I’m glad now that I can say the first girl I ever bought a flower for was my mother. That’s the way it should have been anyway. After I matured I realized my preference was dark hair and deep brown eyes anyway.
That was years ago. You don’t have to live long to discover that the love of others is often unreliable. Human affection is a great mystery but according to my mother’s Bible the love of God for his children will survive tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword, death, life, angels, principalities, powers, things present, things to come, height, depth, or any created thing. Nothing will ever separate a genuine child of God from the love of God that is displayed in Jesus Christ.
When I think of it I hope Violet has experienced that kind of love, the kind of Christ-like love that cushions the blow of rejection that is a part of every life.
(From Stonebridge Newsletter – Number 49)