Leaning towards the light – of Sunflowers and the Sun.

by Christine Sine

by Rebecca Baxter

by Rebecca Baxter

20 years ago I packed up my bag, got into my family’s car and was driven to a town I had never visited, to be with people I had never met, over 8 hour’s drive from my hometown. I was just out of school, and was off on an adventure! Excited, highly likely nervous (although I don’t actually remember feeling that way) and ready to quit that small home town for something that promised to be far more exciting.

Broken Hill is a place the locals say you either love or you hate. I loved it! The sparseness of the desert landscape. The isolation from any major city. Even the mine, with its piles of dirt and rocks held a certain fascination for me. The Statice plants and sunflowers that would randomly pop up along the roadside after the rain. And of course this new bunch of people I was getting to know. Some of whom still hold a place in my heart all these years later.

But back to those sunflowers. Those glorious golden plants that would sometimes be taller than me! Each evening as the sun would set, the golden faces would bow their heads as the darkness seeped in. But always by the next morning the faces would be back, facing the east and slowly following the sun as the day progressed.

Occasionally there would be a rogue sunflower which seemed to defy the rules, and do its own thing. Often times I would recognise the rebel in me in the symbolism of that rogue flower. I would sometimes take pride in the fact that I stood apart from the crowd. Determined to do my own thing, I would face quite a few heartaches in the years to come because of my decisions to do it Bek’s way, rather than looking to the Father’s light, and allowing myself to be guided by him.

As I reflect on this, I am thankful. Thankful that God didn’t give up on me. Thankful that he redeems our brokenness by shining his light into our ‘every day’. And that when we have bowed our heads as the light fades, we will be consistently greeted again by the sun in the morning after the dark. Its like a promise that God is indeed always there, even as we feel overwhelmed.

So now, as we head towards a time of celebration and thanksgiving for all that the birth of Jesus means I find myself reflecting deeper. These things spring to mind as I do.

Do I daily look towards the (son) and follow him as he moves? Or am I still in a state of rebellion in wanting to do it my way?

How thankful am I really? Ie does it translate into an active thankfulness for our Saviour’s birth?

What specific practices am I allowing God to put in my heart to help me reflect on his light?

Do I reflect God’s light in my own life, to other people?

What will help me if the answer to some of those questions are not as sure as I would like them to be?

And the answer is a simple one. Look to your creator. Gaze on his face. Seek him daily. Like the sunflower that opens up to seek the sun all day long, open your heart to the one who created it all.

If you are like the wise men of old, seek after Jesus. You will find him if you seek him with all your heart.


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Penelope Swan December 2, 2015 - 2:14 pm

I wonder how many people know that Broken Hill is in a country in Africa? Zambia to be precise and it is a town that my husband knows well as he used to visit it when he was competing in horse shows as a youngster 50+ years ago!! Thank you, Rebecca for your Advent reflections and your challenging questions and bless you for takings some of us back to our African childhoods.
Penelope Swan in the UK

Christine Sine December 2, 2015 - 4:06 pm

Penelope – this is actually a Broken Hill in Australia not the one that you mentioned. I suspect that there are several towns of this name around the world.

A song of creation June 11, 2016 - 9:54 pm

Hi Penelope! I do apologise for this exceedingly late personal reply to your comment. I only just found it today. Like Christine said, the Broken Hill I was referring too in in Australia. My country of birth. But I find myself smiling as I recall the Broken Hill you are talking about in Zambia. In fact it was only 13 months before I went to the Aussie Broken Hill, that I was in Zambia. Such great memories of a beautiful country with even more beautiful people.

Godspace leaning toward the light | A Song of creation June 11, 2016 - 10:20 pm

[…] Some time ago I was asked to write a reflection for Godspace in the lead up to Advent. The reflection took me to my later teens, and what it means to truly lean into God, look to your creator, seek out God, like a sunflower will follow the sun! I hope it will be a blessing to you all…  https://godspacelight.com/2015/12/02/leaning-towards-the-light-of-sunflowers-and-the-sun/#comment-3542… […]

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