Fall leaves are confetti. They are the festive decorations for a hemispheric-wide, God-mandated party to celebrate what a good run we’ve had with the sunshine and everything it brought.
But take away the pretty leaves, crisp air and pumpkin food, and what you’re left with is a farewell. Fall — I hate to say — is about dying; it’s about good things coming to an end.
This is the season we are in sometimes, isn’t it? And sometimes it’s not about the end of warm days, it’s about the end of something deeper, truer, the end of something that has meant the world to us. I am in this place right now and maybe you are too in your own way.
Look outside at the trees. What if we thought this was the end? What if we thought fall, or the ensuing winter, was the end of the story — where our flowers have bloomed their last bloom, that our apple trees will never produce another apple? We would be a mess, wouldn’t we?
The only reason we see beauty in the fall, instead of despair, is because we believe in spring — we are resurrection people. Sure, it will take a long, cold winter and a small miracle, but we know this thing that looks dead now, won’t stay dead. The end is not really the end.
God is into this life-then-death-then-life cycle. We know this and yet we are so surprised when we lose what we love, when things get hard, when the gorgeous peaches that were hanging on the tree two months ago aren’t there anymore. But those hard places, those places of change, that’s where God gets to show up and show off. That’s where we get to undergo this metamorphic process we call redemption, where we trade our stubby caterpillar legs for wings.
And despite the presence of the leaf confetti, this stuff isn’t exactly a party. We who are in a season of endings, a season of change, we’ve got a long winter ahead. But we also have warm blankets of peace and big, hot cups of grace ready for us, the whole season through and I will share my extras and maybe you will share yours.
In time everything will change. Spring is a promise.