I’ve always loved fall. Maybe it’s because, as a redhead, those rich ambers and rusts and oranges and browns and greens are the colors I like to wear (and the accompanying cool air means it’s time to break out my jean jacket). Maybe it’s the way the light changes color this time of year, washing the world in its golden glow, shining through the patterns of colorful leaves, breathtaking in its beauty. Or maybe it’s because the colors are so vivid that they make my very soul ache.
My soul rejoices in the overwhelming coloration and the subtle variations of hue all around me. Do you realize that our Creator made this just for us? The endless splashes of color cloaking the trees, the grains, the ground as far as the eye can see. The almost unbearable richness of the saturation of color. The way the color seems almost alive as it shimmies in the wind and the landscape transforms almost before our eyes. The exuberance and extravagance of it leaves me breathless.
The leaves outside show what happens on the inside when God finds us. What once seemed pretty to us — the lush, uniform greenery of summer, the whiteness of the light — pales next to this transformation. When we are in the process of dying out to our old selves, of dying out to what the world would offer, we’ve never before been so beautiful to the Lord. The exquisite radiance of the leaves isn’t seen until they start to die. Do you know why it’s so beautiful? Because, instead of the end, it signals a renewal. This death must take place to allow for hope and expectancy and the ripeness of a new life — a life full of potential and joy. The leaves remind us that He is faithful in His promises. That He will change us, that we will be transformed into the beautiful things he meant us to be. That even in death we are not forsaken. That we are on this earth to bring beauty into the lives of others. That we can only be at our richest, most vivid, most joyful selves when we stop clinging to what used to sustain us. When we embrace the changes that are happening. When we let go of the security to which we cling and float on the very breath of God.