Six years ago. The street was slippery with rain. As my car slowly climbed the hill, the mist grew thicker and thicker until I could hardly see the lines on the road. And then, out of the fog, yellow-gold leaves began to fall onto my windshield. Leaf after leaf fluttered down, startlingly beautiful on an otherwise dismal day.
Suddenly I found that tears were falling too. Because these simple, ordinary autumn leaves were an extraordinary gift.
At that time, things seemed hard and we were tired. There was the pressure of needing to be strong but feeling weak. Of marital stress and family stress and financial stress and just being so soul-achingly weary.
When people looked at me, they didn’t see a mother clutching hard at grace to hold herself together. As Christians, I didn’t think we were supposed to feel that way. Everything was supposed to be sunshine and rainbows and blue skies all day every day.
Except that sometimes it’s not. Sometimes you go through seasons of rain and deep fog and feeling your way through the dark.
But during those seasons, there are autumn leaves. Ordinary extraordinary expressions of a Savior’s love.
There are walks in the park.
There are beautiful street lamps.
There are dimply baby cheeks and half-grown front teeth.
There are so many soul-achingly beautiful moments that fall out of heaven and into the rain and the mist. Dismal days are transformed and infused with hope by things as simple as autumn leaves.
Reminders of God’s exquisite care.
Years later, the rain has passed and the mist has cleared. Last week, as I walked with my family through a forest of yellow-gold aspen trees, leaf after leaf fell gently to the forest floor, startlingly beautiful. And I could see clearly how grace sustained us and Jesus healed us. We’re strong now.
But the golden leaves of autumn still remind me of beauty in the rain. Of where I find my strength. Of God’s tender care.
Ordinary extraordinary expressions of a Savior’s love.