And the rain falls
It is a day of quiet, a day of grey, with splashes of vibrant colour. It is the kind of day to just curl up with a cup of hot coffee and read and reflect or it is a day to turn on all the lights and crank up the music.
The outdoors can't seem to decide either. It is grey and rainy, yet the trees are vibrant red against the grey sky, the grass is bright green bathed in the rain. It isn't a depressing day. In fact, it seems to be inviting me out, out to enjoy this day of autumn. This beautiful, cleansing, dying day. Summer is dying and melting into autumn and the dying is beautiful. The rain washes away the dust and the leaves go out in a blaze of colour and I find myself thinking how beautiful it is.
Is there beauty in death?
Everything in me rebels at that idea. Burying friends and loved ones, even after a painful struggle with illness, is not beautiful. It is hard, hurting, horrible, heart-wrenching, but certainly not beautiful.
Yet, I wonder ....
"there is a time to die" Eccl. 3:2
Nothing God ordains is wrong. There is a time to die. Death comes at an appointed time. I may not like it, I may not desire it. It is a hard valley to walk through, but it comes and I am not alone. God does not abandon me in any circumstance I must face.
And His children, when they die, they would never wish to return to this physical life, not when they have looked on the face of their Saviour, when their eyes have beheld the beauty of life beyond the grave. Who would wish that?
I look at the leaves dying on their branches, glowing red and yellow and I think of the things that need to die in me. The selfishness, the fear, the envy, the cravings for things that do not satisfy or edify and I know that if those things would die in me there would be beauty in the dying. There would be beauty and freshness. There would be a spring to follow the dying. There would be new growth. The dying would not be wasted.
Will I shine vibrant as the rain of God's grace falls around me, washing and purifying, pulling the dying to the ground to make way for the spring, for life? Always for new life.
And the rain of grace falls on this grey day, reminding me gently that there is "a time to die".