Sunday, June 13, 2010

Unlikely Beauty

I didn't plan to have sunflowers blooming this summer - even though I love their beauty! I didn't plant any seed, yet I have several beautiful blooms adding their sunshine to the backyard.

The birds planted them . . . in a pot of chrysanthemums - which happened to be very near one of the bird feeders containing a variety of seeds. I noticed some very spindly little plants in the pot earlier but wasn't even sure what they were. For some reason I didn't pull them up. There were three or four of them, and they looked unhealthy - pale, thin stems and few leaves - with no potential for producing flowers that I could see.

About two weeks ago, however, as I watered the mystery plants, I noticed the formation of flower buds and recognized them as sunflowers. I still had no idea that those frail stems could burst into the brilliant, cheerful blooms you see above.

No, they aren't the largest or most showy sunflowers I've ever seen, but shine they do - especially when the sun directly hits them. As you can see, I've given them a prop and attached them to it. Their bold, golden-yellow color definitely brightens their corner of the yard!

If you've read my blog very long, you'll know that I believe that nature is a great teacher. Jesus Himself often used both inanimate and living creations to illustrate truths in a simple, easy-to-understand way. He spoke of sand, rocks, sheep, goats. lilies, sparrows, grass, wheat . . .

Maybe I'm just simple-minded, but I "get" those stories. And I "get" the following simple truths that I see in this homespun anecdote. I just need to be reminded of them now and then!

First impressions aren't always accurate.

Humble beginnings don't spell failure.

Outward appearances can be misleading; the ability to produce
beauty comes from within.

Sometimes God plants us in not-so-desirable places, but with His help
we can bloom wherever we're planted.

In the process, however, we often need to be "propped up." He can handle that and offers His Spirit, His Word, family, a compassionate friend, an inspiring song, a sermon . . . Himself.

He is the Vine; we are the branches. As long as we are abiding in Him,
we will brighten our world as we reflect the Son's light.

Our often-dark world needs a plentiful crop of "Son-flowers"! Reminds me of this old song we used to sing when I was growing up:

Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,

Brighten the corner where you are.

~Ina D. Ogdon - 1913~


Becky said...

Such great thoughts as always. And I am a lover of nature too. He shows Himself so brilliantly through His creation.

My grandma would have called those sunflowers "volunteers".

S. Etole said...

Such good observations ... your banner is magnificent.

Mari said...

Such beautiful surprises! I agree that God does give us messages in nature. I loved what you shared in this one.

Ginny said...

A whole lot of good truths, and I love your comment about being son-flowers!! As sunflowers follow the sun, we need to follow the son! It doesn't take many sunflowers at all to really brighten up a small place

Karin said...

Excellent observations of the Lord teaching through nature! Love that you shared these lessons with us. Such pretty flowers!

Southern Lady said...

Well said! And the sunflower is gorgeous! Carla

Betsy from Tennessee said...

How neat to have some special Sunflowers in your yard, Glenda... We probably have them around also since the birds carry those seeds everywhere... But--if we have them, none have bloomed... I'll keep searching!!!!

Knowing that the birds planted them makes them more special don't you think???? Great message from this lesson, Glenda...


Dawn said...

I love it!! I was thinking that I would probably have thrown them away. Love the thoughts - you have such a gift!

Have a wonderful week!

Love the dandelion one, too!

Jen said...

What a beautiful picture and lovely thoughts. I too relate well to the simple analogies that Christ taught. I love the one about consider the lilies of the field. And the sunflower is a perfect one as well, they always follow the sun.

Sharon Lynne said...

I love your observations. It's true that we need to be propped up sometimes...and God doesn't mind. Such a beautiful insight.