With mixed emotions,
I see signs of The Fall.
Colored leaves, symbolic.
I know what is coming…
the fulfillment of every hope and promise.
I’m always amazed how early they come, sensing the thrill of a shared secret, a whisper of God… He’s up to something.
Why does He clue me in, open my eyes to see when, like everyone else, I could be preoccupied with living: eating, drinking, buying, selling, giving birth, attending weddings and funerals…?
“As it was in the days of Noah.”
Summer surrounds… warm breezes, a canopy of green; no sign of frost or change. From a distance, all is life and growth, prosperity. Yet there is a warning in my spirit,“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria…” (Amos)
What is this? Gloomy words of a prophet on such a beautiful day?
I’ll put an end to this dark thinking, pull back the curtain of deep thought and let in a little light.
I play my favorite August game and begin the hunt for the first sign of fall.
“‘This will be the sign to you,’ declares the LORD, ‘that I am going to punish you in this place, so that you may know that My words will surely stand…”
There it is again, nagging echoes of memorized scripture, random themes floating through the spaces between my conscious thought. I’ve been reading too much Jeremiah. I need to move along to the happier books.
I never spy the first yellow leaf. Upon closer inspection, it is always one coupled and multiplied here and there; twenty, fifty, hundreds scattered and tucked into the acres of forest behind the barn.
I imagine the Trinity smiling at my discovery, Omniscience alone remembering when the first leaf began to turn, all seeing, all knowing.
He is aware of the first hint of turning; He is the one who turns on and off the life giving sap, creating the rings in the grain that mark the years.
Oh, to be evergreen, ever remaining and abiding.
We humans seem more typically deciduous, falling away.
Oh, Mind, be silent. I just want to enjoy this moment.
I’m always a bit happy sad to return from the shore in the fall to see the golden flaming hills in their glory. My soul exclaims, “Bit by bit; yet it happens so suddenly.” I don’t want to blink, or in an instant, a heavy rain may come and wash away all but a few slips of waving brown.
Oh, what a mix of thoughts today! I’m in love with every season, but at the same time, I grieve the loss of one before. I dread those in between grey days before snow blankets the dismal in brilliant white, and winter can be so long.
Change, acknowledged when interfering loud and rude, is ignored when creeping in on silent feet, “little foxes” that loosen stones, ultimately destroying mighty walls.
My token, a remembrance of this moment. Something is dying.
I am attentive today to the first sign of the fall…
I am stopped in my tracks. In all the random thoughts, verses, and prayer requests of the day, I see the theme, like a constellation of hope appearing with the reality of the world’s darkness providing the contrast.
Oh, LORD, what are You saying today? This overwhelming day of intercession… the grieving child, the widowed, unemployed, lonely, tired, indebted, abused, orphaned, aging, enslaved, trafficked, oppressed, aborted, deceived, disappointed…
I return to my quiet place to find the verses that began this day…
“He heals the broken hearted…”
“But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort…”
“You women who are so complacent, rise up and listen to me; you daughters who feel secure, hear what I have to say!”
“The land will have its Sabbath…”
I already knew it. The whole nation is in an up-roar over economy, morality, freedom, rights, religion, … We are falling. Ever so slightly, ever so swiftly, ever so mighty are we slipping in our preoccupation with all things noble, entertaining, beautiful, strong, expensive, popular, advanced.
I know the story of Adam and Eve, but how did we, America, the modern world, get here? It feels like the Modern Dark Ages are upon us.
“Rophe”, Healer, Great Physician, can You heal us?
Will You heal us?
Will we let You heal us?
LORD, I need healing. I am, with the rest of the world, seeking comfort, acceptance, control … pursuing my children’s temporal success, obsessed with materialistic home improvements… wanting more: more time, less stuff… shopping to organize, to rid myself of blessings turned to clutter… God, entertain my babbling. My superficial requests are cries for deeper things. How is it I am too preoccupied to “seek first”? Oh, Conviction, what more must you say?
Self-sufficiency and Pride, I cast you far away from me.
Oh, Pure Heart, be resolved to abide.
Without intention to “come apart and be separate”, “be in, not of this world”, how can I remain green and alive in a world where colors so gradually and quickly fade? How do I expect to equip my children?
Oh, God, how I desperately need these days of prayer.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities… have been clearly seen,… although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, … their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools … Therefore God gave them over…”
LORD, we’ve fallen, bring us back, restore us.
We want You. I am seeking You.
And, if You are saying, “These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”; then I quiet my soul and trust… in anticipation.
“And he said to me, ‘These words are faithful and true’; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place. ‘And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.'”