Sunflowers make me smile.
They just look sunny with their petals extending like rays of sunshine. These stunning beauties stand in contrast to the sky and nearby vegetation, punctuating the landscape with brilliant color. These flowers intrigue me for several reasons.
Vincent van Gogh, working in southern France, selected sunflowers out of all of God’s creation as the subjects of five paintings in 1888 and 1889. Maybe the artist chose them because they naturally draw the eye or maybe the sunflowers he saw brightened his day.
Sunflowers remind me of cheerful people who brighten the day wherever they are. Does someone who fits that description come to mind? Is there someone you’re always glad to see? Do you know a person who seeks to encourage other people?
Speaking kind words, calling a person by name with eye contact, offering help, or simply smiling warms the heart of the recipient.
Encouraging people are like sunflowers.
- They both stand tall in contrast to their surroundings. In an environment of stress, gossip, or discouragement, a sunflower person can turn the atmosphere from negative to positive.
- These floral wonders follow the sun’s position from morning to evening. (For word-loving and science-loving readers, the term is phototropism.) The Bible promises hope and peace to those who follow Christ Jesus, God’s Son. (Colossians 1:27, Psalm 29:11)
- Sunflowers point west in late afternoon. Supportive friends can point the way to wise counsel, a brighter outlook, or tangible help.
- These plants not only provide beauty but offer useful gifts such as yummy seeds and the oil that flavors my favorite popcorn. Encouraging people add value to the lives of others by offering positive words, acts of kindness, or small gifts that bring joy and hearten others.
- Sunflowers, just like people, come in many varieties. Regardless of our gifts or background, opportunities to Brighten Someone’s Day abound.
Therefore encourage one another and build one
another up, just as you are doing.-1Thessalonians 5:11 ESV