Sunday, 2 August 2015

One of the reasons why I'm assured that faith, hope, and love will always remain

We received this card from an unknown
 flower customer in the dead of winter.
I could go on a rant about the absurd #justiceforCecil petition going around in comparison to ISIS' crimes against humanity. Or, I could write an exposé on the bare breasted rally in support of women's right to go topless held in Waterloo, ON; or, even have an over inflated discussion of Tom Brady's 4 game NFL suspension for allegedly deflating footballs in what is known as 'deflategate'. But, it's a long week-end in Ontario and I'm going light on words, heavy on substance, and hope to generate a few smiles!

This may not come as a surprise to you, but writing this blog is strictly volunteer! I do it because I love to share my life and faith through the wonder of a pen, or pixels in the case of the Internet. So, in order to "put bread (and the occasional steak) on the table", my wife and I own and operate a small, cut flower farm in southern Ontario. In addition to selling cut flowers (mainly dahlias) to wholesale florists we also set up a self-serve flower cart on most days during the growing season. Being a seasonal, self employed 'farmer' (I use that term loosely) who relies on a 3 month window to earn a wage that's supposed to last for 12 months, I've really come to appreciate the phrase 'cash is king'! The grocery money that comes from the cash box is usually well received and well timed! Good will and good intent are nice ideas, but the bank doesn't accept them in lieu of money. Head scratcher.

Sometimes, it's not the money in the box that causes us to smile and breath a sigh of relief. It's the occasional note from our regular customers.

Like this note that arrived this past Thursday:

"I.O.U. 15 cents. I will be back"

We sell our flower bunches for $5 each and, on most days, the dollar amount in the box matches the total number of flower bunches sold. Like I said - most days!

Many times, we've been asked by customers if most people are honest, and if we've ever had money stolen. I can say categorically YES...and....NO respectively! We're of the opinion and belief that if someone went through the hassle and risk of removing the cash box, then they probably need the money more than we do. And, if they wanted a free bunch of flowers for their table, or give to their girlfriend, then hopefully they'll enjoy them a little less than if they had been paid for!

Then on Friday (the following day), we were welcomed by this note:

"I'm back. Only have 25 cents so Y.O.M. 10 cents. Just kidding. I love the flowers and look forward to seeing them at the end of your driveway each year. Thank you for having faith in people's honesty."

These notes are rare, but very much appreciated! This person took the time to prepare a hand written note and meticulously wrap it around a quarter so that it would fit in the coin slot of the money box.

Would we have noticed if this person didn't pay the 15 cents owing? Truthfully - no. And, it certainly wouldn't have deterred us from selling flowers at the end of our driveway.

It made me think though - our intention was not to show that we have faith in people's honesty by having a self serve stand. (It's really because we can't afford to pay someone to attend the road side stand full time!) But, by having a self serve stand, someone felt honored and respected that we would place our trust in them, a stranger.

In today's society, suspicion, anxiety, and fear rule our lives. We encounter security cameras, armed patrol officers, drug smelling dogs, drones, and other invasive 'eyes in the sky' on a regular basis. Unfortunately, this is the norm and it goes mostly unnoticed. Occasionally though, small things are pointed out like this kind note from a stranger and we smiled. And, we're refreshed knowing that in the end, God reigns. And, because we know we've been made in God's image we're assured that things like faith, hope, and love will always remain. 1 Corinthians 13:13

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