flowers at rest stop/inspirationalFAITH

Why a vase of flowers in a man’s rest stop bathroom was inspiring.

No, I wasn’t in the men’s rest stop bathroom.

This happened to my friend’s husband. We hadn’t seen each other in about six months and a lot happened to her during that time. (She lives about twenty miles from our cabin and we don’t go up during the winter.)

A routine test showed her husband had prostate cancer. It was a complete shock. He had his surgery which was totally successful and began his radiation treatment. He has to drive only twenty-three miles away which is quite something in itself because they live up by our cabin in a small town. Most major medical centers are a minimum of an hour away. But in this little town there is one of the three state-0f-the-art cancer centers in the entire state of Michigan. Seriously.

Here’s the story behind the center.


Her husband has to make sure he has a full bladder when he arrives at the center. This is because of the radiation treatment.  Immediately afterward, he uses the bathroom. Then he drives the twenty-three miles home. Ordinarily, he makes it home before needing to use the bathroom again. However, this trip was different.

He had never stopped at this rest stop before. He hadn’t needed to. But this time he did.

What happened next is so cool. Before I tell you what that was I should tell you that my friend and her husband had more or less adopted the word “hope” as their mantra during this unwelcomed journey.

Back to the rest stop.

He walked in and  there on the countertop was this:

flowers at rest stop/inspirational


Look closely at this picture and the little plaque.

flowers at rest stop/inspirational

Yep. You’re seeing what you think you are seeing. The word “Hope”. You might not be surprised to find this in a women’s bathroom. But a man’s? Not so much.

My friend’s husband was kind of shell-shocked.  He went back to his car and thought to himself, “Did I really see that?” He went back in and it was still there.

Now, some skeptics might not see anything remarkable or miraculous in this.

But he did.

She did.

And I do, too.

We serve a God that shows up in the most remarkable, unexpected ways. We should never be surprised by “grace notes”.

Now, here’s another “going to give you goosebumps” moment.

I said to my friend, “You are not going to believe this. I am writing a book and it centers around a woman who stops at a rest stop and finds something in the restroom that will change her life. I can’t believe you’re sharing this story with me. It’s almost like a sign for me as well.”

I told her what it was about and we both got goosebumps.

(I’m not sharing any of the details of my story because, well, plagiarism is a “thing”.)

When it comes to expectations, there are two kinds of Christians, those that expect God to show up in unexpected ways and those that don’t. It’s a lot more fun being the second kind. And the funny thing? The more we expect to see God, the more we do.

And, no, I don’t believe God shows up to give you a parking spot just for your convenience. But I do believe there are times when it is totally appropriate and even necessary to pray for a good parking spot. (See comments at end of this post.)

 Matthew 25:35-40 New International Version (NIV)

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

God bless and have a good day.


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4 replies »

  1. I love this! I am learning more and more to expect to see God, although at times I almost trip over Him. Hence my blog,
    I have a friend who would disagree about God finding parking places. Everyday she carried her mother for chemo treatments God would intervene and make it possible for her to walk with her mother a short way rather than let her out to walk in by herself. This was in a very busy metropolitan area.
    I have an idea that’s not what you were talking about and you would actually agree with her that God did it for her.
    Blessings. I love your blog.

    • Actually, after I wrote that post I meant to go back and revise that statement, because you are right, I do agree with the example you gave. What I should have made clear is that I was referring to those times when we use prayer like that just for our own self-centered convenience as though we are the only people in the world who needed a good parking space. I, too, have prayed for a good parking space when I’ve had foot surgeries and couldn’t walk very far or when I was taking my mom to the doctor. I will edit that today.

      I really appreciate you bringing that to my attention. God bless and have a good day.

    • You know, I did but I was so focusing on the word “hope”, I didn’t think about the butterfly. Great observation. Thanks.