This evening I opened a card, a gift for celebrating the Feast of Saint Francis. On the front of the card was a sunflower. I have always loved sunflowers, in fact I felt at home and happy when Maureen showed me the beautiful sunflowers she had planted in the side yard.
1989 was the year I believe I first gained an affection for the strength and beauty of the flower named after brother sun. I was in second grade and preparing for my first Holy Communion, we were taught a children's song that was suppose to teach us the way of discipleship.
"Like a sunflower, that follows every movement of the sun. So I turn toward you, to honor you, my God."
So simple, but I couldn't think of a better image for the Feast of Saint Francis than that of the sunflower following the path of the sun. If God is the sun, I am the flower constantly turning my head toward my loving creator, the one who gives me life, sustains me with rays of light, and nourishes my every need. Just as Francis lived his life vowed to a gospel way of living, following the movements of God within his soul, I too turn toward God.
As I drove home this evening I was overwhelmed with tears of joy, out of no where I felt emotions welling up and expressing themselves. Have I finally found home? Not the home we live in, or the building that shelters us, but the feeling deep within our souls that assures us of our divine inheritance. I don't know that I really understand the answer to this question at this point in my journey, but there is a build up of hope like the tension of tectonic plates on the verge of a major earthquake, but unlike the destructive outcome of plate tectonics this build up brings immense goodness and joy!
In the quiet of my room this Feast of Saint Francis I sit blessed by God, graced by community, supported by my sisters, entranced by the life of Francis, and captivated with the movement of the Holy Spirit. Trinitarian love bonds me to the reality of the call within my heart, placed there by God. I am a disciple of God, who longs to live the gospel life; I am sister sunflower.