Mari is a marigold that lives in a beautiful garden. She is a happy flower. She has many friends. Life is good in the garden, but not without some hard times too. There is a kind and gentle Gardener that tends the garden. He wears big rubber boots and overalls. Many times, the Gardener comes with a water hose which he uses to carefully water the flowers that live there.
The garden has lots of different kinds of flowers; some are tall, some are short, and some have thorns. Near the center of the garden there are several rose bushes, and each one has dozens of blooms. One day, the blooms were talking. They were talking loudly, and Mari couldn’t help but overhear them.
“Rosie, aren’t you, like, totally excited?”
“Like, should I be, Rosie?”
“Rosie! Don’t you realize it’s February now? And you totally know what that means! Valentine’s Day!”
Mari never understood why all the roses had the same name.
“Valentine’s Day is like, the best day of the whole year! All the people are like, totally in love and stuff, and do you know their favorite way to say ‘I love you’?”
“Yeah! It’s by giving roses! Rosie, you’re right, I totally love Valentine’s Day!”
“Yeah, I’m sooo glad I’m not some other kind of flower!”
“Yeah, like a freaky tall Sunflower!”
“Yeah, or like a plain old Daisy!”
“Yeah, or like a dumpy little Marigold!”
They laughed hard and loud, a little too loud, and then they sent text messages to each other that said “BFF”.
Mari was hurt. Dumpy? She never thought of herself as dumpy before. That means short and squatty. The more she thought about it, the more it seemed true. She was dumpy. She wasn’t pretty like the Rosies. They were long and slender and beautiful. She was more like shrubbery, really. She wished she were a rose, instead of a marigold.
About that time the Gardener was making his rounds with the water hose. When he got to Mari, he stopped to look at her and could see that she was sad.
“Oh Mari, I can see that you’ve been listening to the Rosies. I heard what they said, and I know it hurt you. Let me tell you the truth, though, Mari. If I wanted a rose in this part of the garden, then I would have planted one. But I wanted a beautiful marigold instead. You see, when I made this garden, I could tell that the most perfect flower for right here was a marigold. And I don’t make mistakes! I love your bright orange blooms, and most of all your delicious scent. I made you just the way I wanted to, and I planted you in just the right spot.”
As always, the Gardener’s words brought peace to her troubled heart. Why was she so foolish to listen to the Rosies? Next time she would remember who she was; she was important not because of what she was, or how she looked, or even how she smelled, but because of Who made her!