So last week while out of town at a conference I ordered 2 dozen roses as a surprise for my wife. I figured I would just surprise her socks off. I’ve got to do something sweet for my wife for putting up with me on a regular basis.
The day comes. The flower company gives me a tracking number to see when my flowers get delivered. I wait, check my smart phone over and over 3:00, 4:00, 5:00 no delivery. Finally 7:00 rolls around and my wife texts me with great joy! I had completely surprised her.
Then she sent me a picture of the flowers. The flowers were wilted, fallen and truthfully sad. My order also was supposed to come with a box of gourmet chocolates. My wife ended up with a box full of melted gourmet chocolates. What had happened? My flowers were packed into a delivery truck bright and early in the morning and took a ride all over Houston till they were delivered bruised, beaten and wilted that evening. Fail.
My wife is far more gracious than me. My initial reaction was to want to pick up the phone and give this flower company a piece of my mind. My wife was simply thrilled that I had thought of her and cherished the thought of the flowers despite their rough condition. So I waited. The day after the delivery, I came home from the conference. In this I got to see the flowers for myself. I have to tell you Jennifer’s picture did not do justice to the train wreck that was this bouquet of flowers. Still my wife glowed over my thoughtfulness while I stewed over my delivery.
On Saturday the flowers went out with the garbage. I had calmed down enough to be able to write an email to the flower company. I simply communicated the condition of the flowers and the chocolates. I did not ask for a refund, I simply communicated my disappointment.
5 minutes after the email was sent a response arrived in my inbox. The company apologized, took full responsibility and offered to make the mistake right. They offered immediate delivery of a new order of my choosing, a refund or a gift card for my total plus twenty five dollars to be used at my discretion.
The company’s honesty and humility has changed my opinion of them. Where I had decided to NEVER use them again, I think I will give them a second chance. Everyone makes mistakes.
I wonder how often the church has shown the kind of humility that this flower company exemplified. Do we as churches make mistakes? Yes, all the time. Do we as churches often apologize for our mistakes? No. We think we are infallible, like Jesus. What if the church was honest with people, apologizing for our mistakes and owning up to our faults. Perhaps then we might model the humility of our Savior. Perhaps in this honesty we can show our dependency on grace and lead others to the same.
I’m messed up and need Jesus. I am a part of a church that’s messed up and in need of Jesus (I heard it’s full of sinners). I would love for you to join this messed up pastor at his messed up church.