Isaiah said that Christ was a "root out of dry ground" (53:2).

That could also describe a sunflower. From mid- to late July, sunflowers begin to bloom around here in all the most desolate dry areas in the hills, roadsides and empty spaces. They continue to bloom until winter hits in November. I have seen little sunflower buds continue to show their sunny faces through the last hours of fall. On the empty lot next to me, all the weeds are dying from lack of water, but the sunflowers are doing fine.

I want to know how to be a "root out of dry ground" — a sunflower, but only idealistically. Mostly I want to live sheltered in a greenhouse being watered, fertilized and pampered daily. But this is never going to happen for any of us, because Christ knows that being a sunflower is a choice opportunity. He wants us all to have the sunflower experience.

Recently I finished reading the four gospels. During this time, I have thought a lot about Christ and all the healing he did. Surely, a day never went by that he didn't heal someone.

It has made me think about wanting to be healed. I have wondered if I could ever muster enough faith to have my rheumatoid arthritis completely healed. I have mulled this over and over as I have reflected on all the stories of healing in the gospels.

One day last week, I walked the hills amid the sunflowers of my wilderness temple, contemplating these things, when a profound thought came to me. Oh, I am sure someone else has thought and taught this before, but it was a new concept to my brain. Christ was not telling us to worry so much about being healed; he was saying that we should be a healer. He never took Paul's "thorn in the side" from him.

Do these thorns keep us humble? I have always appreciated that Paul didn't tell us what his thorn was. We can all wonder if he had our infirmity.

Christ was always trying to teach us by example. So, his daily healing was also for us — to help us realize that we need to be a frequent healer. We need to be a bright sunflower growing up without all the nourishment we think we need and to bloom with our happy faces toward the "Son" — even when our life isn't ideal.

Is being a healer mostly about charity? Paul in the Bible and Moroni in the Book of Mormon made a list that will profoundly make us a healer if we can succeed in transforming our life with such traits. Then Moroni tells us how to make them ours.

"Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart that ye may be filled with this love; which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ" (Moroni 7:48).

What if we all got up every day and prayed with "energy of heart" to be a healer — filled with love? Would it make a difference in our life ... could we make a difference in the lives of those around us?

I hope the profusion of these happy sunflowers growing in dry, rocky places will remind me to try harder to be a healer, filled with love. Maybe it is the answer to healing ourselves, too.


Charmaine Anderson lives in Fruit Heights.