"Last time we went door to door we were asking for money; this time we are just going to give something to brighten people’s day." Mrs. Holland announced. On this first Sabbath in November, we students were gathered in the music building to receive instructions for our afternoon outreach. Scattered across the front of the room, bright yellow and white roses lay in bunches. A local wholesale flower shop had donated 375 roses for this activity.
“Today we will be going door to door handing our neighbors roses. You should introduce yourself and tell them why we are handing out roses." All the students smiled and commented positively on the potential success of this outreach. My team headed to the local nursing home and retirement village. As we entered the nursing home, the elderly residents looked bewildered to see us. Everyone was smiling. The nurses smiled, we smiled, the patients smiled as we handed them each a rose and chatted with them.
We were nearly finished when I glanced at one nurse who didn't seem particularly happy to see our group. I walked up to her, handed her a rose and told her how thankful I was for the work she did. Instantly her face brightened and she hugged me and thanked me for the rose because I had brightened her day.
After we had spoken to everyone inside the nursing home, we knocked on the doors of homes around the retirement center. One lady opened her door and invited us inside to have a minute away from the chilly air. When we gave her a rose she smiled and thanked us for thinking about her. Then she asked, "What do I owe you for this?" For a moment I was confused, we weren't expecting anything in return for the roses. Quickly I recovered and told her I would love to pray with her in exchange for a rose. After we prayed I left, thinking about her ordinary, ye to me, out of place question.
Jesus offers us the gift of eternal life. He gives it with no strings attached. Frequently we believe that we must earn this gift. We convince ourselves that nothing good is free. To a certain degree, that's true. Someone did have to pay the price for us to have eternal life. Jesus paid it in full; He gave up everything for us to accept His gift. So what do we owe Jesus? What can we give him in return? There is nothing in this world that Jesus doesn't have except for our hearts. His gift, much better than roses, can change our lives and illuminate us with joy. Although we cannot repay Jesus for His gift, we can thank Him by giving our hearts to Him.