And why do you worry about clothes? Notice how the lilies in the field grow. They don’t wear themselves out with work, and they don’t spin cloth. But I say to you that even Solomon in all of his splendor wasn’t dressed like one of these. If God dresses grass in the field so beautifully, even though it’s alive today and tomorrow it’s thrown into the furnace, won’t God do much more for you, you people of weak faith? – Jesus, Sermon on the Mount
With this week looking wet and windy, now is a great time to have our spirits lifted by sunflowers.
That’s exactly why I headed out to Hill Ridge Farms Sunday evening. Sunflowers have been on my radar for a while and I already had a photography trip in mind for mid-week; then the prospect of storm damage on the open fields inspired me grab my camera and drive out before the opportunity was lost.
I’m so glad that I did.
I considered rationing out the best photographs over the next few days, but changed my mind and decided instead to offer everyone a walk through the fields exactly as I experienced them (absent the heat and the bees!).
Consequently, there are fifty-one photographs to enjoy. However, every image is absolutely unique because of the changing light and different angles and the varieties of sunflower. But don’t hurry through, enjoy them and let the startling beauty of God’s good creation speak life and light into your soul.
Candid Images of People:
Once in a while you will see people, as I stumble across portrait sessions, family groups, and even a marriage proposal right there in the middle of the flowers. The last few pictures you see will be Meaghan Reynolds from our church and her beautiful girls (Luke was busy taking overhead videos with his drone).
I don’t think I ran into anyone in the Sunflower Fields who didn’t have a smile on their face. Because the luminescence and the glory of the “lilies of the field” tells a compelling story we cannot pretend not to hear.
So pay attention and do not miss this hope-saturated message today! Rebekah talked about the very real gift of Living Water in her sermon Sunday morning, and it is my suspicion that sunflowers are nourished – deep in their roots – by something similar!
Our daughter Naomi said it best when she was twelve, and we were moving into our new home in Brandon, Florida. It had been difficult to leave Pensacola, and we wanted to make Naomi’s room her own as quickly as possible. “Let’s paint it bright yellow,” she said between sobs as the tears rolled down her face. “Because I am a sunflower kind of a girl.”
Let’s be sunflower people. The world certainly needs us to be – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.