Ah! Sunflower or Heliotropism (part 1)

Sunflowers have inspired

paintings,

Van_Gogh_Sunflowers wiki CC

Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh

 poetry,

Blake Ah sunflower

“Ah! Sunflower” by William Blake

and worship.

The ancient Aztecs and Incas used sunflowers in ceremonies honoring their sun-god–a natural connection, since the color and shape of the flower echoes the sun.

The sunflower, however, is more than a pretty, golden face, reminding us of the sun. The flower seems to “worship” the sun because of the way the buds and leaves of sunflowers orient themselves to face the sun, following its movement from east to west across the sky.  (This is called heliotropism.)

IMG_6330 - Copy (2)

By the time the sunflower matures and is in full bloom, the flowers permanently face east.

This video (from Indiana University, Department of Biology) shows a young sunflower plant tracking the sun over a 24-hour period.

The dance of the sunflowers and the sun is a wonderful (full of wonder) picture of the relationship between believer and God.  Sunflowers, like any plant, need the sun to survive.  This is the process of photosynthesis where light energy is converted into chemical energy that the plant can use.

For in him we live and move and have our being.  Acts 17:28

English-speaking Christians have often taken advantage of the happy coincidence of the homonym of sun/son, but there is some Biblical basis for idea of God as the “sun.”

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; . . . Psalm 84:11

The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine upon us.  Psalm 118:27

His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.  Revelation1:16

We “sunflowers” turn our faces toward the Lord.

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:13-15

Your face, Lord, I will seek. Psalm 27:8

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.  Psalm 105:4

Too much information?  Is it all Greek to you?  Just remember God shines his light on us, and we seek his face like the sunflower. “Shine” and “seek.”

sunflowerwallpaper.jpg

sunflower field photo by Trey Ratcliff StuckInCustoms.com

background photo by Barb Briggs

Posted on August 18, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Barbara Briggs

    I can remember “shine” and “seek.” And I can visualize the face of the sunflower following the sun, and let that vision guide me to constantly keep my face toward God.

  1. Pingback: Magical Sunflowers-Fibonacci Spiral and Heliotropism | The Garden Diaries

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