The Sunflower

“Don’t cut those!”

Clara paused. She held a pair of scissors in her right hand, and a colorful bouquet of flowers in her left. One more flower would make the bouquet complete. Especially one of those sunflowers. She looked back to see if her mother was still watching.

“But Mom, these are the best and biggest ones!” Clara exclaimed. Clara’s mother had been happy to let Clara cut a bunch of flowers for Grandmother, but suddenly these huge yellow blooms were not allowed to be part of it.

Mother walked over to where Clara stood in the garden. “I know, Clara. They’re so pretty. But they have all kinds of seeds in them—see?”

The sunflowers branched out in several directions off of one tall, main stalk. They were much taller than Clara, but the flower heads were large. She could clearly see the seeds in the middle of them.

“The birds will love to eat the seeds as soon as they are ripe,” Mother explained, “and we will love to watch them do it.”

Clara sighed and nodded. Her bouquet of zinnias and black-eyed Susans would have to do. Mother went back to picking beans at the other end of the garden. Clara looked up at the sunflowers swaying in the breeze above her. She pulled on a stem to bring one of the flower heads down to her level. She had never taken the time to look at one this closely before.

The dark brown seeds were arranged in neat rows that curved in just the right way to fill up the large middle circle. Yellow petals grew out from around the edge of the circle, framing the dark middle disk in a bright, cheery pattern. How could something grow all by itself into such an amazing, beautiful design?

Clara let the sunflower go. It bobbed back to its full height above her. For a moment, Clara thought it was nodding at her.

She started to walk away, but turned around for one more glance at the regal, golden bloom. It stood still now as it faced her. Clara said within herself, “Sunflowers can’t talk!” But she smiled as she thought of the possibility. What if…what if they could?

Then she remembered a verse from the song they had just learned in school: “Thy Spirit, O Lord, makes life to abound; the earth is renewed, and fruitful the ground; to God ascribe glory and wisdom and might, let God in his creatures forever delight” (Psalter 287, vs. 1).

She looked at the sunflower again. No, it didn’t grow in that beautiful pattern all by itself. God’s wisdom made it grow that way. It’s his design. And he has a design for everything.

That’s what the sunflower was saying!