I only plan to blog rarely, when I feel inspired to do so. Last night, however, I was having dinner with some friends who’d seen my latest entry and one of them reminded me about a little devotional I’d written after my father, Mayther Ager Rogers, died about two years ago. In honor of him, I am adding the piece here below, so that I can preserve it on this site.
The assigned scripture that I was supposed to pair my devotional with was Isaiah 9:2, The people walking in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
The summer of 2009 was a walk in darkness for me. Newspapers reported that the drought was the worst one this area had experienced in 100 years. One apparent sign of the absence of rain was the barren land I passed by on my frequent trips to my hometown of Bishop, Texas, to visit my mom and my 90 year old ailing dad. I’d never seen the fields so bare during harvest season and it was a depressing sight.
Soon after my father passed away, I caught view of something wonderful…two fields of 6′ tall bright yellow sunflowers…a sight for my sore eyes! I enjoyed noticing how they faced the sun each morning and evening as I made my way back and forth on that road during the difficult days of new grief, and I remembered how we, too, look toward light for our nourishment…the light of our Lord.
Sadly, however, I eventually noticed that the strong upright stems began to droop under the weight of the heavy flowers, and it reminded me
of the way my father’s posture withered as he lost his health. The faces of the flowers bowed toward the ground, all pointed where they’d last been able to face the sun. The sight made me sad, and so I looked forward to the day when they would be harvested. Still later, I passed by again and they had blackened and withered further, no trace of beauty visible to a passer-by. This reminded me that we, too, will return to the earth in death, our beauty and vibrancy gone, yet this is when our Father will harvest all that is good within us, and we will find new life with Him.
I hope the farmer who planted those sunflower blessings will harvest the seeds soon. Should he fail to do so, however, perhaps they will return to the earth and bless me yet again, about a year from now, when I will surely be remembering my dad and pondering the cycle of life.
I still travel that road weekly, keeping an eye on my mother, and we are still experiencing extreme drought conditions . I haven’t seen any more sunflowers, but that makes the memory of them all the more special, because they were there when I was able to appreciate them the most. And now that more time has passed, my grief has diminished and I no longer think of my dad as being stooped and withered like the dying sunflowers, but as the intelligent, strong, and witty man who always strived to do good for others. He kept his face toward the light…always!
As you travel that weekly road, perhaps you are looking in the wrong place. Look in the mirror, look towards your sister. The two of you were the most beautiful sunflowers Mayther the farmer ever planted. There are grandchildren to continue to look towards the light, just as he did.
The attributes you credit him with are solidly part of you as well. You are full of life, you push yourself a bit further than you are comfortable with, and I see nothing but joy in the snippets your have shared over the years. A glorious blossom….
That’s very kind, Gwen, and very insightful. Thank you so much!! You make me smile!