“We need to feed our souls, too,” said Judy to her husband, Makoto Fujimura, when she came home with a bouquet of flowers. At the time they were newlyweds and could barely afford a can of tuna, so when she splurged on the flowers, Makoto reacted with exasperation. But when she explained herself with the words above, his entire perspective shifted.
This week as my husband prepared for a trip to the store with his mask and gloves, I added “flowers” to the grocery list. I felt selfish asking for flowers, but my soul hungered for beauty. “Just get a five dollar bouquet, get the ones that last two weeks, so we get a good deal,” I said, trying to make my request as small as possible.
My husband, being the generous man that he is, brought home not one but three bouquets of flowers. I stared at the price tags on the plastic wrapping around the flowers. Then I avoided looking at the price tags. I helped wipe down the groceries and finally set to cutting the stems and arranging the red, orange, and cream buds into vase after vase, wrestling with the guilt.
After dispensing the vases around the house, I continued on with the day. But in the midst of mundane tasks such as eating dinner, watching a movie, or even a trip to the bathroom I caught glimpse after glimpse of colorful flora and my heart couldn’t help but respond with joy. With every glance, my soul feasted on the generous meal. As I reflected on the bounteous gift found in the beauty of the flowers and also the generosity found in my husband’s heart, the many vases reminded me of the extra loaves and fishes at the end of another feast.
“Beauty is a gratuitous gift of the Creator God; it finds its source and its purpose in God’s character.
God, out of his gratuitous love,
created a world he did not need because he is an artist.”
Makoto Fujimura in Culture Care