The coarse, dry air brushes my face with breezes filled with fear and tastes of bitterness. My watering eyes lay still glancing down at a dull sunflower who refuses to look at the sun. It is the only sunflower in a field full of tall weeds and long strands of grass. It bears no seeds for it has no nutrition. It brings no life for it has no life inside.
“Why?” I whisper to myself.
“Why are you afraid to turn toward the sun?”
I sat there waiting for days upon end, anticipating a change, but the dullness grew deeper and her petals began to wrinkle. My heart pounds harder than the rapid beating of the sun and I am shivering even though it is 100 degrees outside. I smell stagnant air and I see a cloud with no rain. I feel a tingling in my left arm and a harsh push from the wind. I feel as helpless as the sunflower in front of me.
My anxiety continues to grow for this helpless sunflower and I even begin to think about leaving her behind. I felt as dark inside as she looks on the outside. When I stand to my feet, a twist in my stomach brings me back down to my knees so close to the sunflower that when I look up; I see her dull, lifeless figure. Every fear felt in my entire life flushes through me like water in a pipe and I watch as my pain forms holes and wounds in her stem.
“How much longer can I sit and watch you die?” I ask her.
The words that I spoke out loud made me realize that I too will die if I stay in this field with no food or water, love or protection, family or friends, connection or communication. We were alone, we were dying, and we were afraid.
When my fear grew to heavy to carry, I dug the little sunflower out of the ground and ran faster than I have ever ran before. We ran through bare fields, up and down enormous hills, across roads with rocks so pointed that they left marks on my feet. All of this misery was just chasing the sunflower, and as I ran with her, my heart became hers. My pain became her pain, and her fight became my fight. As I came to a lethargic walk, my heart began to throb and my mind started boggling.
“I cannot go on much longer” I whispered to the dull, lifeless sunflower in my arms.
As I played this line over and over in my head, my weakness only flourished and my eyes began to close. I fell still, and then I lay still; with the sunflower in my arms.
The life that we see full of evil and deceit, is limited through the lens of fulfillment and ease.
My mind wanders, but my soul knows exactly where it is going,
I long for the day where each is overflowing.
The lies that bury deep within my stomach, churn, spin, and growl with every waking moment.
I fester them out as they pull me in, but only one will win
But who will win?
I fight, but it fights.
The thoughts of despair, the temptation to compare, the longing to repair all of the damage that I once wanted there.
I do not see what others see.
I cannot hear what others can hear.
But I can feel something that no one can feel.
This morning I open my eyes and the first thing that I see is the blinding sun. I have seen the sun plenty of times, but today, it was different. The brightness allowed for every object’s shadow to be seen, every drop of water on each leaf of grass to be acknowledged, and the heat that it penetrates is hot, but sensational. I reach to my side to take hold of my sunflower, but she is no longer laying there.
“Where have you gone?” I shouted as loud as I could, but I know that the sunflower will not respond.
As I shouted this, the sun flushed me with an extra wave of heat.
As I looked back to the sun, a healing so strong came over me. A feeling so bold that the joy that it brought untwisted my stomach and I felt as though a burden was lifted off of my shoulders.
This only happened when I looked up at the Son.