During a quick stop at the grocery store last week, I did something I do not usually do.

I browsed the florist’s section. I usually do not buy flowers from the grocery store because I’m too cheap I’d rather cut some flowers from my own yard–not that I have a great yard full of flowers or anything– and to call me a gardener would be laughable– but when something is blooming, it is satisfying to cut some of those pretty somethings and bring them in, like lilacs from the bushes, for example. But back to the story, on this particular day, I had springy yellow daffodils on my mind, and these aren’t due to bloom for a few weeks yet at least,  assuming my few bunches will still come up this year.

I searched the floral section (it’s a fairly small area), but to my surprise, found no daffodils. I would have been disappointed, had something else not caught my attention– or nose, rather. The smell of something sweet, like perfume, filled my lungs, and I searched for the answer.

I half-spoke to the florist while immersed in the smell, “It smells wonderful over here!”

She pointed to some rows of purple, pink and white flowers. “It’s the hyacinths,” she said.

I admit I don’t know much about flowers, but I sure do enjoy them.  Hyacinths! Yes, I’ve heard of those, but I couldn’t have picked them out of a flower line-up. I was taken in by their fragrance. $3.99 for the small ones. I made up my mind. I chose a little pink hyacinth plant.

Once home, I placed the pot in the center of the table. Would one little plant smell as strong by itself? Very soon, the fragrance filled the room– literally– with its sweet aroma. This one little thing was a wonder by not just filling the senses with the smell of something nice, but also was a small touch of beauty and grace that dotted the days last week.

Have you ever known someone by the fragrance he/she wore? to the point where you could smell that person coming before your eyes could see the person?  This flower was like that. I could smell it before I saw it, and the thought was a pleasant one, softening the lines of the day’s troubles.

It didn’t take rows of the flowers to fill the room– it only took one. Only one plant. Filling a room. Feeling like there was  a message in this, the smell simmered in my thoughts, as I pondered what God might be trying to tell me. Finally, it came to me– the words of a missionary I heard last year. She was a young twenty-something, serving in Thailand. She was talking about the desire to “change the world” and how it sometimes looks like she takes one step forward and two steps back, and how some situations are so big she doesn’t know that she’s even making a small dent, and how the bigness of it all can seem overwhelming and she begins to question herself.

I was waiting for her next words. Her next statement hit me, words that I’d do well to remember. “Maybe you can’t change the entire world, but you can change the world of one person.”

Wow, could that be it? Maybe, that was the answer.  Maybe that is how it’s done. Changing the world of one person, one person at at time, one day at a time. Maybe this is done even moment by moment, since days are made up of moments. Maybe that is how we all make a difference, wherever we are, at home, at work, at church, at school, in the grocery store.

We are changed, one day at a time. We give thanks for one gift at a time, and we are changed. We sing praises, one song at a time, and we are changed. At any given moment, I can choose joy. At any given moment, I can surrender my hold on myself. At any given moment, and day by day… Change. Choose. Turn over the dirt. Plant joy.

It only takes one, right here, right now, as the little hyacinth reminded me. (Maybe this also encourages you, in some small way?)

Tomorrow, I’ll continue on with the “Message of the Hyacinth, Part Two”. For now, though, it’s time for Monday’s grace list,  and sharing about those kinds of things, the everyday and also the not-so-common, which punctuate our days, and that speak of God’s grace in our daily lives.


100. a pink hyacinth that can bring smiles and beauty just by its fragrance

101. watching the kids play football in the park

102. a drenching rain

103. seeing another excellent movie this week, this time “The King’s Speech”

104. long phone conversation with my sister

105. talking with others about the wonders of God’s love

106. an 80 degree day with warm breezes









107. a deliciously loaded omelet









108. pots of spaghetti noodles and spaghetti sauce boiling on the stove

109. a tree, with the letter “v’ shaped by its tree trunks, reminding me of “victory”… He arose!

110. “In Christ alone, my hope is found”… (from a song sung in worship at church)… yes!..beautiful melody and lyrics…In Christ Alone!

Joining with Ann and others, sharing on Mondays: