After we finished the geranium project last Saturday, we ate chili soup with Michael, my neighbor who helped us with the project. It had begun to rain as we planted the last plants, and the forecast showed storms for the evening.
Marnell and I went to church in the evening for a special series of weekend meetings. On the way home, I asked him if we could drive on to second street and come back on Jackson Street so I could check on the geraniums by the apartments.
“I feel like if they make it through the first couple of days without being destroyed or stolen, they’ll probably be okay,” I said to him.
It was dark when we turned left by the newly-remodeled Dairy Queen.
“I see the two by the corner apartment,” he said as we pulled up.
Sure enough, the other two pots were gone.
I stared, stunned, at the sides of the stoop where we had left the heavy pots just hours before.
“I was so intentional about getting pots that are too unhandy to steal!” I lamented. “I guess they are worth a little money, but I thought surely the kind of person who would want them by their house wouldn’t steal them from someone else.”
“Well, we don’t know for sure where they are,” Marnell said.
But if a person was able to take them inside to protect them from the storm, they could just as easily steal them.
That night it hailed, pea-sized bits of ice falling from a tumultuous sky.
The next day, Sunday, we went to church in the morning. I lamented to my friends from Elkhart that my geraniums had already vanished.
On the way back to my house, Marnell drove out of the way to Second Street without my requesting it, and we made the familiar loop back on Jackson Street. It was not storming now, but the pots were still gone.
“If they don’t reappear today, they’re probably gone for good,” I said sadly.
It was dark again when we got back to Elkhart for the third time after the final service. Again, Marnell drove past the apartments, and again, only the two pots by the corner apartment were still there. The other two were gone.
“I’m so sad,” I said, “although I guess the whole point was to beautify the town. Probably, a crook can take them to a place I would never think of.”
“That’s true,” Marnell said.
I was immensely tired the next day, and not feeling well. I told one of my patients what had happened to my flowers. He sympathized, and said that someone had once stolen a large pot of flowers from him as well.
“Put a $15 GPS under one,” he suggested.
“That would be interesting, just to know where they went!” I said.
Thankfully it was a short day and I got off work early and went home to bed. But before I did that, I circled around on Jackson Street.
They were back!
They had been re-arranged a bit, but all four were there. Someone was looking out for them.
Despite my exhaustion, I stopped my car and walked over. Through a first floor window, I saw the girl who had offered to care for the flowers, chatting with some friends.
“Are the flowers okay?” I called through the window.
She nodded and smiled, so I just gave her a thumbs up and moved on.
I wish the two pots could tell the story of where they went for a day and a half!
But perhaps, the pots are safest there at the apartments. Apparently, someone took them inside out of the storm, which is more than I did for my flowers!
If I truly mean for the flowers to bless Elkhart, then they are God’s flowers anyway.
And, like the sparrow that falls in the Bible, there were other eyes on those two pots, the whole time that I didn’t know where they were. He, who never slumbers or sleeps, knew where they were the whole time.