Sunflower of Beetham Church

At the Church of St Michael’s and All Angels at Beetham in Cumbria, I beheld a strange sight. Growing tall out of the wall was a sunflower. In one respect, this seemed a foolish place to grow, as its roots cannot burrow deep and nutrients in that old mortar must be minimal. Yet had it partaken of that richer soil below, it might never have survived the lawnmower, a flower picker’s knife or a bored teen’s spite. That high, grey wall was the very reason for its survival.

Sometimes the places in which we find ourselves seem barren and hard, unfruitful and unattractive. Yet had we been granted greater degrees of prosperity or freedom, our faith might have been suffocated by pleasures. Where are the brother seedlings of that flower? All eaten or plucked, I’ll wager. Be grateful for the poor place you are in; the alternative might have looked better, but you would have fared far worse.