The Gift of a Flower

Last weekend was the tenth anniversary of a terrible day, 9/11. Chuck posted some great words on the subject then. God is truly our refuge and strength.

But do you know what I did on that awful day? Once I had seen the horrors of the fall of the towers, I did not need to see it replayed again and again. Yet, that is exactly what television was doing. The attack was terrible enough without it being burned into our eyes. I had to get away, to be with God in my own way.

I went out and photographed fall flowers. I did close-ups of them. I sat in the middle of a field of sunflowers native to Southern California. I was alone except with the flowers. And God.

I believe God was there. “Be still, and know that I am God,” says verse 10 of Psalm 46. For me, there was no better way of being still. The flowers were not going anywhere. I had no place to be other than to be with them. Close-up photography brings us into an intimate relationship with nature, and I felt close and reassured by these gifts from God. Yet these flowers simply expressed that gift — their nature as sunflowers to anyone willing to take the time and look and listen. Christians sometimes refer to the “second” book of God — nature. There certainly is no more direct expression of His power, majesty and wonder, than what we find in nature … including the gift of a flower on a terrible day.

I no longer have the photos I took that day. I was shooting with an early digital camera and somehow those early files got lost. Still, I find close up photography to be always a comfort and a release from the world’s troubles. Those troubles do not exist inside a flower, inside this gift of God’s creation. I am carried back to that place whenever I go back to images like these. The photos here are of a redwood sorrel flower (pink) and a monkey flower (yellow).

— Rob