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The Tulips

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Of course, this story is not true; but yet it tells the truth, because our life on earth is a mere blink in ageless eternity; and Jesus has made us a promise of a place where time has no meaning and love forever endures.

One day in the early fall, a little girl was helping her widowed mother plant bulbs in the soil. While it didn’t seem there could be any life in the seemingly dead objects, the little girl’s mother told her about the many different colors of tulips that would arise from the bulbs in the spring.

The little girl said, “I am sorry I will not see that.”

Her mother thought the little girl did not understand how seasons change, so she told her all about the cycle of plant life. The little girl smiled.

Later that year, at Thanksgiving time, the little girl took her turn giving thanks. “I am thankful my mother will see all the beautiful tulips in the spring,” she said. Her mother did not notice that her daughter had not said she also would see the tulips.

At Christmas time the little girl suggested to her mother that she spend less on Christmas gifts that year. “I would be so happy if you spent what you usually spend for me to give gifts to poor children,” she said.

Her mother did as her daughter asked.

One day shortly after Christmas the little girl sat down with a fat pencil and began to write on her lined paper. When she had finished, she folded the paper and placed it in her Bible.

The next day the little girl did not feel well. She did not go to school. All day she stayed in her little bed. She told her mother she felt very tired.

Her mother thought if her daughter was not better the next day, she would take her to the doctor; but by the next morning the angels had come for the little girl.

Of course the mother was extremely sad, sadder than she had ever been. She was very sad for a very long time.

Then one day the mother was sitting on the edge of her daughter’s wee bed weeping. Her eyes fell on the child’s Bible on the bedside table. The corner of a piece of paper could be seen extending from between the pages.

The mother opened the Bible and unfolded the paper. In her daughter’s childish scrawl a message was written. “Jesus told me to tell you to look at the tulips.”

When her mother read this she went to the window. Outside she saw an array of beautiful colors spread across the plot where she had worked beside her daughter in the fall. The tulips had bloomed.

In the center of the patch was a group of tulips in a bright yellow hue—a hue unlike that of all the other tulips. There were two straight lines of the yellow tulips. amidst all the other random colors. They crossed each other.

Looking at His cross of tulips, the mother knew that Jesus was telling her that her daughter was in heaven with Him. After that, although she missed her little girl all of her remaining life, she was never quite so sad again because she knew without doubt she would see her once more in heaven where little girls who pass away far too young bloom with as much vitality as a seemingly dead tulip bulb blooms in the spring.

Elizabeth Ruth

Read more articles, stories and poems by Elizabeth Ruth at:

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