good deeds

There are times when things go wrong and your sense of indignation rolls over into a terse letter to the offending party.

That happened to me recently, over flowers I wanted sent to my church for what would have been my Mom and Dad’s 73rd wedding anniversay. Word!

May 30, 2010

Dear X and X,

I ordered two $XX.00 bouquets to be delivered June 12, 2010, to the First Presbyterian church, to be used in the June 13th service.

They were to be in honor of what would have been my mother and father’s 73rd wedding anniversary. They were married June 12, 1937, and the marriage lasted until Dad died November 4, 2008. It is a special date in the hearts of my family.

Attached is a copy of my check duplicate and the paper attached to the bouquet, for reference, and to show that I even noted, in the memo, “June 13th”, as a reminder that I’d ordered these flowers for that day’s church service.

Also attached is a photo of one bouquet sent to the First Presbyterian Church yesterday, the 29th, for today’s service. As you can see, it is gorgeous, lush, and most likely is one $XXX.00 bouquet, plus $13.75 tax and delivery, for $XXX.75.

I have three questions:
1. Is the bouquet in the photo a $XXX.75 bouquet?
2. If so, why, when I was very clear that I wanted two $XX.00 bouquets?
3. One or two bouquets, why was it delivered on May 29th when I specified June 12th, for the church service on June 13th, the closest date to Mom and Dad’s anniversary.

Let me be clear: I am not upset with you. Disappointed, yes, that the flowers were delivered on May 29th instead of June 12th. I do believe the young lady who waited on me correctly wrote out the order, Nr. XXXXX.

There were consequences. A couple who celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary gave two beautiful bouquets of mixed white and red roses. Stunningly beautiful! And, since there was no space for my presumed $XXX.75 bouquet in honor of an event two weeks in the future, it sat in an orphan spot I couldn’t even see from where I sat.

At least it was up front where the people on the north side, perhaps some in the south side could enjoy and wonder what it was all about….

There is no need to replace this one bouquet at your cost with two bouquets on June 12th that are $XX.00 worth of flowers each, my initial expectation. I certainly have better uses for $XXX.75 (as I am retired) than to pay for a replacement order. Order Nr. XXXXX is done once my three questions are answered.

June 13th at the First Presbyterian Church will be a start of an alternate way for people to honor family anniversaries and those who’ve passed on to Our Heavenly Father’s domain. Instead of flowers, those who wish will donate to the church general fund the dollar amount they were prepared to pay for bouquets.

I will start the tradition by donating an amount equivalent to or greater than the amount I spent on the flowers delivered early, and Pastor X will announce why there are no flowers that day.

As someone who, with Dad, spent, many hours on their knees laying tile, painting, and who knows what else with all the others who donated sweat equity to make the physical First Presbyterian Church what it is today, I think my Mom will agree the gift of money is a great idea.

I am hard to contact by telephone but an email or handwritten note answering my three questions will be appreciated. The form isn’t important.

Warm regards, weggieboy

Louie thought they were beautiful, too. Just not what was ordered!

A short time later, I received an e-mail that explained how the error happened. The proprietor of the shop graciously apologized, and said that a replacement order, two bouquets, would be delivered to my church on the 13th of June. No cost to me.

It was much more than I expected, and it went against the plan to have a flowerless dedication of the dollar amount of the flowers given to the church for whatever monetary needs it had.

Glory to the Father, however He would have us use it!

What to do? Is it ever right to deny someone the opportunity to do the right thing? I said “the right thing”, not “the thing I want them to do”. (That’s for my sake, not yours!)

Prayerfully, I stewed about this. Then I sent the proprietor an e-mail of assurance that I was satisfied with his plan, and that his explanation of the error was accepted: “Hadn’t I made a mistake on flowers just last year when I asked you to deliver them on the wrong date? Mistakes happen!”

Ooops! I had done just that.

Is it ever right to deny someone the opportunity to do the right thing? The answer, wrought from prayer, and just a little stewing, is NO! When someone needs to demonstrate their conviction that a wrong needs to be righted by a good, then let them have that opportunity to do the right thing, to do good.

Let judgement stand with out Heavenly Father! And feel joy for the person trying to make right.

It might be you the next time, trying to make amends!

This coming Sunday, the flowers will be dedicated to Mom And Dad’s 73rd wedding Anniversary. They will be the gift of the flower shop proprietor, because he and his wife are good people, because he wanted to do the right thing, this good deed.

I will make a silent contribution of a bit more than the flowers would have cost me to replace on the right day. (Yeah! I blab it on the internet…!) The church always can use the money.

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