Jul. 13, 2016

Sunflowers! Hope!

“Many flowers open to the sun but only one follows it constantly. Heart be thou the sunflower, not only open to receive God’s blessing, but constant in looking to him.” Jean Paul Richter

“I don’t think there’s anything that more trumpets life than the sunflower. For me that’s because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun, but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that’s such an admirable thing, such a lesson in life.” 2003 movie, “Calendar Girls”

We saw this sunflower, my best walking buddy, John, and I, last Monday morning, July 11th, and couldn’t resist taking its picture. It is the brightest, most vibrant yellow and its leaves are a deep healthy green. To me, sunflowers mean hope. Here are a few more things that speak hope to us today: Our grandson, Luke, turned 19 on the 11th. He was born on my Aunt Helen’s birthday, long after she had left us behind to take up residency in heaven. Luke, I think, has taken on at least one of Auntie Helen’s best qualities, i.e., he is kind. He is also a talented actor-singer-dancer with many credits to his name, and he gives us hope. Actually, all our grandchildren give us hope. There are the little girls in Texas: Jessie, who is 8 and Emily, who is almost 6; taking swimming lessons – valiantly jumping off the side of the pool, bravely putting their faces in the water, heroically stroking and kicking. And there’s our granddaughter, Ashley the R.N., who has been married a whole month today. She and Trevor have just moved into their very own condo as homeowners. Grandson, Chad and wife, Hayley, are expecting a little girl next month. Hope!

We are looking for hope as this last week in our Nation has been a very grim week with shootings and death seemingly on every side. We have wept over the pain which surrounds us...a four year old boy in Altadena, Salvador Esparza III, shot to death on his front porch; the police officers in Dallas and so many more this past week. We see these tragedies as ripples of pain extending out through family after family...parents, brothers and sisters, children... touching literally hundreds of lives. Even though we don’t know these people personally, we see their faces on television, hear their families weep tears that will never dry. We are reminded of God’s Word in 2 Chronicles 7:14:   “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 will forgive their sins and will heal their land.”

We hear our next door neighbor’s chickens clucking around, making cheerful chicken noises and we can’t help but smile. The vinca plants I put in last week are looking happy and I’ve bought some succulents that were on sale 20% off to replace seven roses.

Some roses are pink, yellow or white,

Some are a bright, cheery red.

But thanks to the spider mites,

Those nasty little aliens,

Most of our roses are...

About to be outta here!

The giant pumpkin vines are already taking over their area and we are watching for blossoms. More hope!

“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible!” Christopher Reeve.