Here’s Seed for Thought

National Aviary - Outside feeder

National Aviary – Outside feeder

Here’s Seed for Thought

By James J. S. Johnson

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. (Luke 8:11)

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. (1st Peter 1:23)

Luzon Bleeding-heart by Dan


God’s Word is like good seed – it transmits God’s very thoughts into new life.

If we have eyes to see it, the whole process of seed germination (in a sunflower, or in a human life) is a providential God-glorifying miracle, every time new life germinates.

Sunflowers for Bird Brains article by Dr James J S Johnson

Sunflowers  [public domain]

When I see sunflowers growing in farm-fields, or elsewhere, I often recall how God sometimes uses “accidental” plantings, caused by birds who occasionally drop sunflower seeds, thereby planting a new generation of bright yellow sunflowers.

To illustrate, consider this poem, written almost 20 years ago.


( © AD1997 James J. S. Johnson, used by permission )

Seeing hungry backyard birds
I filled a tray with seeds;
Sparrows, juncos dined in “herds”,
and jays arrived to feed;
Even cardinals, flashing red:
they came, they saw, they fed.

Bills gulped! seed-hulls popped!
Some seeds spilled! some seeds dropped!
Overhead, as some bird flew,
sunflower seeds did fall;
From green vines, they later grew,
seedlings, green and small.

Then out popped golden faces
Coloring grassy spaces;
Like baby suns of yellow,
Grinning — saying “hello”!
On green stalks they climb,
aiming to greet the sky;
Seed-packed in their prime,
picked by birds, going by.

Thus reaps my yard what jays did sow,
New seeds, from old, sunflowers grow.

Watch I, and think on what God made
How He designed such “mutual aid”…
In my backyard, I must surmise:
The Lord, Who did this, He is wise!

This poem was written when I lived in Carrollton, Texas, where I grew sunflowers by our backyard’s western fence, with the help of blue jay “planters” – but, of course, God gave the increase (1st Corinthians 3:7). (Those were the days, now like a faded dream gone by, when I taught ornithology and avian conservation at Dallas Christian College.)

Ruby-throated on Sunflower ©©Frank Boston

Ruby-throated on Sunflower ©©Frank Boston

So, when you see bright-colored sunflowers — and the hungry birds who eat them, just remember this:  those same birds, or their parents, may have “accidently” planted the very seeds that germinated into the full-grown sunflowers that the birds now eat from!

Also, remember this also: God shows His wisdom and goodness, everywhere you look, — if you have the eyes to see it.

Furthermore, even more important, of course, is this: that “incorruptible seed” (to use the apostle Peter’s phrase) — that we call the Holy Bible – is the eternal Word of God, and He uses its truth to give us regenerated life in our Lord Jesus Christ (Who is Himself the Messiah, the promised “Seed of Woman”, prophesied of in Genesis3:15)!

><> JJSJ

Sparrows Eating From A Sunflower ©©Sagudino Flickr

Sparrows Eating From A Sunflower ©©Sagudino Flickr

Lee’s Addition:

Thanks again, Dr. Jim. Enjoyed your poem and the application. In fact, there is a stalk or two of corn growing under my feeder because of the birds. Had a Sunflower or two last summer growing under the feeders.

Oh, that we all would feast on His Word!

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) Male and Female ©WikiC

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) Male and Female ©WikiC



James J.S. Johnson


Changed From The Inside Out