During a summer break in 1970, I drove my mother, brother, and sister to see the great American west. None of us southerners had previously been past the Mississippi River. We saw snow covered mountains, buffaloes, prairies, pronghorns, crystal clear lakes, and stars so bright they seemed to hang right over your head. Four years later Mom moved the family to Colorado and spent most of her life there. My sister still lives there.
A special memory for me is the profusion of a bright yellow flower we passed on our way to the mountains. Native sunflowers colored the roadsides and many fields. They gloriously gave joy to all who passed. Wild sunflowers became and remain my favorite flower. Kit and I recently attended my niece’s wedding in Colorado. While there we passed an eyesore of a road construction site. But a single sunflower had taken root among the debris and bloomed. There it radiated joy and beauty to all who passed.
Kit and I have been in many difficult circumstances in the service of our Lord. Strange that those times would be more memorable to me than other times when we shared great successes. Stories about biting your tongue, returning a blessing for an insult, and loving your enemies without anybody noticing aren’t as awe inspiring as grander successes. But maybe responding in a godly manner in a difficult situation is our opportunity to, like the sunflower in the debris, radiate joy and beauty to all who pass.
Lord, make me like a sunflower.
“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” Galatians 6:9