field of sunflowers
Devotions,  Something to Think About

Unintended Beauty

I was driving north on Highway 6 on a recent midsummer morning. It was about 7 a.m. and the sun was already heating up the day, in the midst of what could be classified as an unbroken heatwave. Suddenly, I saw to my left a vast sea of shining yellow gold.

A field of mature sunflowers was basking in the morning light, its myriad faces smiling directly at the drivers passing up and down the road. It seemed to go on forever. I have no way of estimating acres, and I don’t doubt that, if I returned I would be stuck by how few there were. But at the time I was overwhelmed by the mass of beauty that shone out from that farmer’s field.

The sunflowers were not planted there for their beauty. No doubt they were destined to produce snack food, birdseed, oil or who knows what else. They were being grown for their utility. But how wonderful that even a cash crop could be so breathtakingly lovely in the strong morning light!

The sunflowers were not planted there for their beauty. No doubt they were destined to produce snack food, birdseed, oil or who knows what else.

I believe that the existence of beauty is one of the most compelling arguments for the existence of an intelligent power behind the universe.  It is God’s secret message to us: “See how much I love you? I made sunflowers beautiful for no apparent reason.” And sunsets, and sunrises, etc., etc. The trait of recognizing and valuing beauty runs in the family. We get it from our heavenly Father.

The next time you see something beautiful, say a prayer of thanksgiving. Not only is the thing of beauty a gift from God, so is the ability to appreciate it.


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