Today’s blog consists of three pictures and a video. I thought all of them might delight and inspire you. I’ll tell the story behind each picture. Here’s picture #1:
Here is a picture of a sunflower plant growing in the vegetable garden in our main courtyard. (Special thanks to Sister Anne Marie for taking the picture!) Isn’t the plant magnificent and incredible? It has one stalk with about 15 sunflowers on it! I am 5′ 5″ but, as you can see, this plant dwarfs me! Here’s the story told to me by one of our gardening sisters, Sister Kathleen. Several sisters started this small garden in the courtyard. They planted peppers, melons, tomatoes, etc. But after a little while they noticed two sunflowers growing in the garden—sunflowers they did NOT plant. (Sister Louray insists that a chipmunk planted them!)
The gardeners decided to let the two sunflowers grow. In fact, they even “nurtured” them a little. And amazingly, both plants flourished. (The other one is tall too, but much shorter than this one. And it has only one large flower on it.) I think there are some lessons here about life, don’t you? About life being full of surprises… about OUR carefully ordered plans and how sometimes God seems to intervene with something amazing… How we plant the seeds, but God gives the growth… How often in life we get much more out of things than we invested in them… How we are called to nurture the living things around us—even those we may not have “planted”… And how those fifteen sunflowers at the top all receive their life and nourishment through that thick stalk. It recalls Jesus’ words, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” In this picture Jesus might be saying to us, “I am your stalk, and you are my sunflowers!”
Here is picture #2:
A friend was showing me some pictures on her smart phone. Suddenly this photo came up. I was fascinated by it. She explained where she had taken it. There’s a small town (population 10,000) in northeast Ohio called Louisville—in Stark County on route 44 near Canton. This work of art is entitled “Umbrella Alley.” It consists of over 200 brightly colored umbrellas suspended in one of the alleys in the heart of the downtown. The lead artist was Jeffrey Keirns. The art work was part of a project to bring people together from the Tri-State area and to welcome them to this small town. Chairs and benches line the alley, encouraging people to pick up some food, sit, and eat lunch while taking pleasure in the art. I imagine little kids (and BIG kids like you and me!) would enjoy this experience. The display is open 24/7 and it’s FREE. For more information, check out “Umbrella Alley” on the city’s various social media accounts
I came across this picture while I was looking for something else. It immediately caught my attention. Maybe that’s because I LOVE fruit. In fact, I don’t think I ever met a piece of fruit I didn’t like! Gaze at the picture for a moment… Notice the berries, as in straw, blue, rasp, and black… Behold the array of citrus too: lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit… Then there’s the kiwi cut in such a way as to showcase its hidden interior beauty… And don’t overlook the pineapple, mango, and peaches! A display of fruit like this leads me to spontaneously thank our Creator God for all the nutritious and distinctive treats God has provided for us for our time on our beautiful earth… Do you have a favorite fruit?
Did you like any of these pictures? Do you know why?
What sights or events have delighted or inspired you lately?
What gifts do you thank Our Creator for on a regular basis?
And now, here’s our video. As it often happens, I came upon this video while looking for something else. It’s called “57 Years Apart.” The subtitle is “a boy and a man talk about life.” I hope you enjoy it. It might inspire you to sit down and have a similar conversation with a child or grandchild. (The video has closed captions too. Just put the video on full screen to read them. Also, at the end of this video, you’ll see a similar one with a little girl and a woman. Just click it if you’re interested.)
Now it’s your turn. I invite you to respond to anything in today’s blog. I love to hear from you!