I once heard a story about a little boy and his grandfather. They were quite poor and isolated. As the grandfather aged, their cottage fell deeper and deeper into disrepair. The little house was shadowy and stale. But it was home.
One day, a stranger with a sweet smile approached the boy in the park and handed him a lily then walked away. Thinking little of it, he took the lily home to his grandfather. The grandfather put the flower in a mason jar by the window.
Next to the clean jar, the window looked filthy. So the grandfather cleaned the window, which naturally invited more light into the room.
The fresh light exposed a dirty floor. The grandfather asked his grandson to sweep and mop. The sparkling window, natural light and clean floor made the mason jar appear cheap. So the grandfather took a vase from the cabinet and placed the lily back in the window.
Just one flower transformed their entire environment. The grandfather decided they needed more. He spaded dirt in the front yard and planted seeds. Soon flowers bloomed. Neighbors stopped to chat. Two became four and then eight and sixteen as an extended family grew alongside the flowers.The lily from the stranger had died long before. But the difference it made in two people’s lives never did.