For my birthday I received a framed photo snapped at the edge of a field of blooming sunflowers. They all seem to be smiling at the camera, which focuses on one bright blossom, a soloist set apart from the backup choir.

I remember the first time I saw a sunflower farm. With my parents I was driving north along one of New York's scenic Finger Lakes. Grape country. On the other side of the next knoll, I expected to see another sloping vineyard. Wasn't I surprised?wowed by a radiant expanse of big flowers, thousands of little suns shining on me and my journey.

Later in the day I drove back by the field?in the opposite direction. From the north the view was less spectacular. My father quickly provided an explanation: "The blossoms always face the sun." Morning to night they shift their gaze from east to west, always fixed on the direct source of light.

Sunflowers. Surely there's double meaning in their name. The huge flower-faces that so evidently tilt toward the heavenly light also look like the sun, reflecting its golden glory.

That's also true of us if we heed the suggestion in Hebrews 12:2: "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus." As we look at him, we begin to look like him.

This morning I hung my new sunflower photo right at the top of the stairs. I want those bright blossoms to shine on me.

Lord, as I fix my eyes on you, allow me to see how I'm reflecting your glory.

1998 by the author or Christianity Today International/Today's Christian magazine (formerly Christian Reader).
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