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 Benny and I'm shopping with my mother," he responded proudly.
"Wow," I said, "that's a cool name; I wish my name was Benny, but my name is Steve."
"Steve, like Stevarino?" he asked. "Yes," I answered. "How old are you Benny?"
"How old am I now, Mommy?" he asked his mother as she slowly came over from the next aisle.
"You're fifteen years old Benny; now be a good boy and let the man pass by."
I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Benny for several more minutes about summer, bicycles and school. I watched his brown eyes dance with excitement, because he was the center of someone's attention. He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.
Benny'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, Benny 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, 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.
"People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel!"
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