Blue Rose

Last night I received a forwarded e-mail.  Honestly, I only read it because it was late in the evening and I wasn’t ready to sleep yet, even though I was in bed. Normally, I scan this kind of e-mail very quickly before sending it to the trash, but I just needed to occupy my mind. It was an attempt to keep my mouth shut.  My husband, after all, deserved sleep.  (Did I mention he let me sleep most of the day, keeping the toddler away and serving me lunch in bed?  No?  Well, he did, but that’s not the point of this post.)

So last night, I happened to read about the blue rose.  Humor me.  Read it.  All of it.

A Blue Rose
Having four visiting family members, my wife was very busy, so I offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items, which included light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags, detergent and Clorox. So off I went.
I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies and headed for the checkout counter, only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man who appeared to be about sixteen-years-old. I wasn’t in a hurry, so I patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, “Mommy, I’m over here.”
It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged and also startled as he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, “Hey Buddy, what’s your name?”
“My name is Denny and I’m shopping with my mother,” he responded proudly.
“Wow,” I said, “that’s a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but my name is Steve.”
“Steve, like Steverino?” he asked.  “Yes,” I answered. “How old are you Denny?”
“How old am I now, Mommy?” he asked his mother as she slowly came over from the next aisle.
“You’re fifteen-years-old Denny; now be a good boy and let the man pass by.”
I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more minutes about summer, bicycles and school. I watched his brown eyes dance with excitement, because he was the centre of someone’s attention. He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.
Denny’s mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn’t even look at him, much less talk to him.
I told her that it was my pleasure and then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow, and pink roses in God’s Garden; however, “Blue Roses” are very rare and should be appreciated for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if someone doesn’t stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that rose with their kindness, then they’ve missed a blessing from God.
She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked, “Who are you?”
Without thinking I said, “Oh, I’m probably just a dandelion, but I sure love living in God’s garden.”
She reached out, squeezed my hand and said, “God bless you!” and then I had tears in my eyes.
May I suggest, the next time you see a BLUE ROSE, whichever differences that person may have, don’t turn your head and walk off. Take the time to smile and say Hello. Why? Because, but by the grace of GOD, this mother or father could be you. This could be your child, grandchild, niece, nephew or any other family member. What a difference a moment can mean to that person or their family.
From an old dandelion! 
Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to the powers that be.
I thought for a few minutes about the situation described.  Honestly, I’ve done similar things.  I spent several years working with developmentally delayed (dd) people, in both paid and volunteer positions.  I know that a kind word or a smile, a simple acknowledgement, can change the course of a day.
But is that true just for the dd population?  My husband and I often talk about what we term “invisible people”.  That’s a misnomer, though, because usually we’re referring to people that aren’t invisible at all.  We’re talking about “those” people.  You know them; you look down as they approach you.  You turn your face with hope that you don’t have to smell them.  You look up and try not to stare as you wonder how in the world they deal with having a two-foot long, unkempt beard in the summer.  These people aren’t invisible, but often they feel like they are. If we were honest, I think we’d admit that we wish they were.
What about the invisible people?  Wouldn’t they benefit from a smile?  A simple hello?  What about a cup of coffee from the corner coffee shop?  A hot dog from the local convenience store?  What would happen if you asked his name?  What if you asked her about her story? Would those that witnessed your kindness be surprised? Confused? Touched? Inspired?
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”  –Lao Tzu
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