How important it is for us to feel needed. As we get older we feel more and more that we are not needed anymore; not needed to make decisions, to shoulder burdens, that we are useless. Here’s a little incident written by the mother of a bride, that is so meaningful:
“I was getting ready for my daughter June's wedding which was taking place in a church about forty miles away. To save money, I gathered flowers from several friends who had large magnolia trees.
“The big day arrived - When we opened the door of the church and felt a rush of hot air, I almost fainted; and then I saw them - all the beautiful white flowers were dead. An electrical storm during the night had knocked out the air conditioning system, and on that hot summer day, the flowers had wilted and died.”
“I panicked, knowing I didn't have time to drive back to our hometown, gather more flowers, and return in time for the wedding and I certainly didn't have extra money to buy a new set from the florist in town.”
“ Alone in the large sanctuary, I looked up at the dark wooden beams in the arched ceiling. 'Lord,' I prayed, 'please help me. I don't know anyone in this town. Help me find someone willing to give me flowers - in a hurry!' I scurried out praying for the blessing of white magnolias.”
“ As I left the church, I saw magnolia trees in the distance. I approached a house. No dog in sight.. Knocked on the door and an old man answered. When I stated my plea the man beamed, 'I'd be happy to!'
“He climbed a stepladder and cut large boughs and handed them down to me. Minutes later, as I lifted the last armload into my car trunk, I said, 'Sir, you've made the mother of a bride happy today.'
No, Ma'am,' he said. 'You see, my wife of sixty-seven years died on Monday. On Tuesday I received friends at the funeral home, and on Wednesday I buried her.' He looked away. 'On Thursday most of my out-of-town relatives went back home, and on Friday - yesterday - my children left.' This morning I cried, 'Who needs an eighty-six-year-old worn-out man? Nobody!' I began to cry louder. 'Nobody needs me!' About that time, you knocked, and said, 'Sir, I need you.' He smiled. 'Do you know what I was thinking when I handed you those magnolias? I decided I'm needed. My flowers are needed. I could give them to everyone! They're all over the backyard! I can give them to hospitals, churches - all sorts of places. You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to serve the Lord until the day He calls me home!'
Here was a man who found his need. Maybe we need to look where we are needed too. All of us may not hear a voice saying, “I need you’ but if we look hard enough and pray, there are enough ways we all are needed all the time..!
Robert Clements is a newspaper columnist and author. He blogs at www.bobsbanter.com and can be reached at email@example.com