Nature speaks . . .

Fall is one of my all time favorite seasons. The air is crisp. The sky bright blue. Leaves blow in the wind and crunch under my feet. There are cozy gatherings around warm firepits. The taste of pumpkin goodies, apples, soups, and S’mores. (Yes please! with Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups) New beginnings of the school year with campus outreaches, work projects, and sports. The landscape changes color before my very eyes from green to reds, golds, oranges, yellow. Autumn ignites all my senses.

This fall however has been a bit disappointing. No color. Our maple tree dropped half its leaves early in September. They just turned brown and within two days were on the ground imitating a Charlie Brown episode. No fanfare of multicolored leaves as in past seasons, no beautiful shots of our home crowned by a bright red maple. Just crusty, dry, brown leaves.

Two weeks ago I drove down to Tennessee with great anticipation of brightly colored rolling hills like previous years. Sadly, I saw just variations of brown. Why? Not enough rain at the right time. The complexity of a leaf changing color is dependant on many things (google it for a fascinating read) but key ingredients are moisture and temperatures.

Isn’t it true of our hearts as well? A vibrant relationship with God produces life . . . in color! But a heart not fed or watered will show withering signs of dryness, prickliness, apathy, muted hues. These brown leaves cause me to reflect:

  • What is the condition of my heart?
  • What are the indicators of a dry, withering heart? A healthy heart?
  • What fuels me for living each day?
  • What “well” am I frequenting for water? Is it satisfying the core of who I am?
  • What can I do to position myself better to receive the nutrients only God can provide?

The wonder of Nature is a daily invitation to consider deeper truths. As you take walks or long drives this fall, what questions might you ask? Autumn is a great time to slow down, sip cider, and ponder.

A trip to Colorado afforded Michael and me a treasured day with our son, Chris. We had never seen the Aspen trees in their golden glory; and though a cloudy day, the trees were electric. I am convinced that if stars were in the sky, the trees would have still been glowing brightly. The light seemed to be shining from within.

Our training on “carried grief” was enlightening in helping others process unmourned grief they have carried inside them, perhaps for years. Pray for great wisdom and compassion as both Michael and I meet with individuals who have suffered unimaginable loss and feel so helpless.