Tuesday, April 26, 2011

God and Sunflowers

The Sunflowers -- Poem by Mary Oliver

Come with me
into the field of sunflowers.
Their faces are burnished disks,
their dry spines
creak like ship masts,

their green leaves,
so heavy and many,
fill all day with the sticky
sugars of the sun.

Come with me
to visit the sunflowers,
they are shy
but want to be friends;

they have wonderful stories
of when they were young -
the important weather,
the wandering crows.

Don't be afraid
to ask them questions!

Their bright faces,
which follow the sun,
will listen, and all
those rows of seeds -
each one a new life
hopes for a deeper acquaintance;

each flower, though it stands
in a crowd of many,
like a separate universe,
is lonely.

the long work
of turning their lives
into a celebration
is not easy.

Come and let us talk
with those modest faces,
the simple garments of leaves,
the coarse roots in the earth
so uprightly burning.

Our God is as clever as He is amazing. The detail He has engineered into His Creation is like viewing Seurat's Grande Jatte from across the room while moving closer to the canvas. You discover the images are thousands of individual dots of paint converging to become the the painting. Time, thought and technique are wound in triune agreement and beauty is created.

I discovered a miraculous dot of paint today while listening to a story about the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. It turns out that sunflowers were used to rid the soil and water of dangerous contamination because they are little detoxification engines. "All I have needed Thy hand hath provided." Japan is importing sunflower seeds by the tens of thousands.

The thought came to me that the Sovereign who could plan for a 21st century disaster from the first gasp of Creation, who could provide a solution to such a life threatening problem by handing man a sunflower, well, that God is the one I want to serve.

Do you have barren soil in your emotional landscape? Areas where no fruit grows because of some act of carelessness or disaster? Ask our gentle Gardner what He would plant there trusting Him to chose beauty and restoration. If He would do it for a pile of waste how much more will He do it for the Darling of His Heart, you.

Show the Lord the needy ground and pray for seed. The result will be sweet earth a field of flowers and best of all, life. How about some sunflowers in a vase set out before Him in faith? You will find some on my desk today. My life is very much in need of such holy seed.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Jellyfish Sunflower by Kat, colored pencil and ink

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