. .
Joke A Whenever Logo Joke A Whenever

Joke A Whenever


Web JokeAWhenever

.Inspirational Stories
.Testimonials & Awards
.Contact Us
.Who is Joke A Wh..
...Pictures & Sounds
..One Liner
...Story Joke
..Personality Quizzes
..Card Tricks
..Online Tetris

felt as low as the heels of her shoes as she pushed against a November
gust and the florist shop door. Her life had been easy, like
a spring breeze. Then in the fourth month of her second
pregnancy, a minor automobile accident stole that from
her. During this Thanksgiving week she would have delivered
a son. She grieved over her loss. As if that weren't enough, her
husband's company threatened a transfer. Then her sister, whose
holiday visit she coveted, called sayingshe could not come for
the holiday. Then Sandra's friend infuriated her by
suggesting her grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow
her to empathize with others who suffer. She has no idea what
I'm feeling, thought Sandra with a shudder. Thanksgiving?
Thankful for what? For a careless driver whose truck was hardly
scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved her life
but took that of her child? "Good afternoon, can I help
you?" The shop clerk's approach startled her. "I....I need an
arrangement," stammered Sandra. "For Thanksgiving? Do you
want beautiful but ordinary, or would you liketochallenge
the day with a customer favorite I call the Thanksgiving "Special?"
asked the shop clerk. "I'm convinced that flowers tell
stories,"she continued. "Are you looking for something that
conveys 'gratitude' this
thanksgiving?" "Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the
last five months, everything that could go wrong has gone
wrong." Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised
when the shop clerk said, "I have the perfect arrangement for
you." Just then the shop door's small bell rang, and the
shop clerk said, "Hi, Barbara...let me get your order." She
politely excused herself and walked toward a small workroom,
then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangementof greenery,
bows, and long-stemmed thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose stems
were neatly snipped: there were no flowers. "Want this in a
box?" asked the clerk. Sandra watched for the customer's
response. Was this a joke? Who wouldwant rose stems with
no flowers! She waited for laughter, but neither
womanlaughed. "Yes, please," Barbara, replied with an
appreciative smile. "You'd think after three years of getting
the special, I wouldn't be so moved by itssignificance, but I
can feel it right here, all over again,"she said asshe
gently tapped her chest. And she left with her order. "Uh,"
stammered Sandra, "that lady just left with, uh....she justleft
withno flowers! "Right, said the clerk, "I cut off the
flowers. That's the Special. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns
Bouquet." "Oh, come on, you can't tell me someone is willing
to pay for that!" exclaimed Sandra. "Barbara came
into the shop three years ago feeling much like you feel today,"
explained the clerk. "She thought she had very little to be thankful
for. She had lost her father to cancer, the family business
wasfailing, her son was into drugs, and she was facing major
surgery." "That same year I had lost my husband," continued
the clerk, "and for the first time in my life, had just spent the
holidays alone. I had nochildren, no husband, no family nearby,
and too great a debt to allow any travel." "So
what did you do?" asked Sandra. "I learned to be thankful
for thorns," answered the clerk quietly. "I'vealways thanked God
for the good things in my life and never questioned the good
things that happened to me, but when bad stuff hit, did I
everask questions! It took time for me to learn that dark times
are important. I have always enjoyed the 'flowers' of life, but it
took thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort. You know, the
Bible saysthat God comforts us when we're afflicted, and from
His consolation welearn to comfort others."
Sandra sucked in her breath as she thought about the very thing her
friend had tried to tell her. "I guess the truth is I don't want
comfort. I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God." Just then
someone else walked in the shop. "Hey, Phil!" shouted the clerk to the
balding, rotund man. "My wife sent me in to get our usual
Thanksgiving Special....12 thorny, long-stemmed stems!" laughed
Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue-wrapped arrangement from the
refrigerator. "Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra
incredulously. "Do you mind measking why she wants something
that looks like that?" "No...I'm glad you asked," Phil
replied. "Four years ago my wife and I nearly divorced. After
forty years, we were in a real mess, but with theLord's grace
and guidance, we slogged through problem after problem.
Herescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she kept a
vase ofrose stems to remind her of what she learned from
"thorny" times, and that was good enough for me. I took home some of
those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific
"problem" and give thanksfor what that problem taught
us." As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly
recommend the Special!" "I don't know if I can be
thankful for the thorns in my life." Sandra said. "It's all
too...fresh." "Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my
experience has shown me that thorns make roses more precious. We
treasure God's providential care more during trouble than at any other
time. Remember, it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we
might know His love. Don't resent the thorns."
Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the
accident, she loosened her grip on resentment. "I'll take those
twelve long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke
out. "I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have
them ready in aminute." "Thank you. What do
I owe you?" "Nothing. Nothing but a promise to allow God to
heal your heart. The first year's arrangement is always on me." The
clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra. "I'll attach this card
to your arrangement, but maybe you would like to read it
first." It read: "My God, I have never thanked You for my
thorns. I have thankedYou a thousand times for my roses, but
never once for my thorns. Teachme the glory of the cross I bear;
teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed
closer to You along the path of pain. Show me that, through my tears,
the colors of Your rainbow look much more
brilliant." Praise Him for your roses; thank him for your


More Inspirational Stories

Copyright 2006 Joke A Whenever

Do you have a blog? Get listed in the blog resource directory

Looking for Toys and Quizzes for your blog?