The Accidental Sunflower
Not planted, yet sown
buried by debris swept off the sidewalk,
a sunflower grew tight beside the white porch railing.
A seed sprouted and stretched tender leaves toward the sun,
turned its veiled face to the east,
unfurled golden flags of ray petals,
waved emerald leaves in the breeze,
welcomed the soaking rain,
opened its seedy heart wide
and grinned a spiraled smile.
I joyfully watched the accidental sunflower grow and change from a castaway seed to a mature bloom. I saw the bees’ pollen-laden visits, the spider’s trapeze web, and the grasshoppers’ hungry gnawing.
I saw the ray petals burn bright gold and then fade and wither as the seed hulls swelled fat and green.
I saw the color drain away, leaving silver and brown as the seeds ripened and the birds found the sunflower’s final gift.
From life to life.
I saw and witnessed the meaningfulness and beauty of the sunflower’s life, which existed despite its “accidental” beginning.
Our Lord is the God who sees us . . . and cares for us, as He did for Hagar. Hagar was a slave who fled Sarai’s abuse and ran into the desert, pregnant and alone. Her life was not what she had planned, a life of disdain given and received, but
the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; . . . he said, ‘Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?’ Genesis 16:7,8 NIV
The Lord knew who she was and addressed her by name. He instructed Hagar to return to Sarai and told her about the future of her son. Hagar, an unseen servant, caught up in unplanned circumstance, called God el Roi.
She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.’ Genesis 16:13 NIV
Perhaps your life has not gone as you planned, like Hagar, and difficult circumstances tangle your feet like briars on a path. God sees. God cares. He knows your future and has a purpose for you.
Great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds. Jeremiah 32:19 NIV
Perhaps you have known, perhaps you have been the child whose parents did not love you as they should have, did not protect you, didn’t provide for your needs, body and soul. Maybe you are hurting as much as the woman whose mother hurled the words “unwanted” and “accident” at her. God sees. God cares.
Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the Lord will hold me close. Psalm 27:10 NLT
Maybe you feel rejected by the one who said, “I do” and then didn’t. God sees. God cares.
Don’t be afraid. For you are very precious to God.
Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!
Despite our bleak beginnings and pained past and fractured faith, God sees and has a purpose for us: to love and be loved, to do what only you can do and be in the place that only you can be.
God knows where we have come from and where we are going. He sees. We can grow from an accidental and unplanned beginning to a beautiful, joyous, and meaningful life.
From life to Life.
But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. Exodus 9:16 NIV
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Photo of sprouting sunflower seed from the National Sunflower Association.
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