by Ken Rolheiser
Blue Roses are a rare blessing

I did go back and thank the lady in the checkout at our local store who greets us with a smile every day. She said, “Thank you. You made my day.” I hope my smile has said thank you! shares the following parable:
    At the store on my way to the checkout I was blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man who appeared to be about sixteen. He waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, "Mommy, I'm over here."
    I noted he was mentally challenge. When he noticed me, his eyes widened in surprise. 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 Stevarino?" 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 center of someone's attention. He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.
    Denny's mom 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.

The Blue Rose Parable has inspired a Blue Rose Mission group in Ohio that endeavours to be the hands and feet of Christ as they help meet local needs in areas of high poverty. Their activities include Home repairs, Painting, Porch Repair, Building Ramps, Disaster Cleanup and Rebuilding, and Winterization.

We do not have to go that far afield to find our mission as followers of Christ. Every day we see needs in our families and neighbors. It may be physical needs or emotional or spiritual needs. Be alert. Parishes and community groups seek volunteers for various projects throughout the year.

“Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours,
no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ is to look out on a hurting world. Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which he is to bless now.” (St Teresa of Avila).

(579 words)