Fall in New England. For those of you reading this that are not from the New England area, I ask you, just once, to come visit this area in Fall. To me, there is nothing more beautiful, more peaceful, more gratifying than seeing Fall in New England. The colors are vibrant, the smell of dry leaves is intoxicating, the gentle cool breeze is invigorating - it is truly something to be cherished. There are certain years when the colors just seem to "pop". There are other years where, due to weather conditions, the colors are more muted. And just a few years ago, the colors were subdued under a sheet of ice (yes, that was a COLD Fall).
This year is a "popping" year. Any corner you turn, the colors of fall are there to greet you. It may be one red leaf amongst a sea of green. It could be yellow pine needles showering down on you. It could be an ocean of color alongside a pond. It could be the patchwork of mums integrating together in harmony. Whatever you see, it is like a gift that God gives me each time I see something. Maybe that is why this season gets me so excited. I was trying to explain it to a coworker the other day - my excitement almost making me speechless - almost !
I can't help but look at this season as God whisking out His paintbrush to share His splendor with us. No matter how we look at it, He shares His goodness with all who take the time to see it. He is the painter and the world is His canvas. Together, it's majestic. God clothes His world with what only He can do - share His brilliance with all of us. When someone needs to see a miracle, then all they need to do is come to New England during Autumn.
This thought of clothing our world in beauty opened my eyes to how God clothes us. He has rained down on us His grace and righteousness. It clothes us each and every day. He allows us to bask in His glory, His love, His grace. We are like the strong oak waiting for His paintbrush. He clothes us with all that we need to spread His word and love to others. The question is, "Do we?"
When others see us, do they see the beauty that God has poured over us? Do they feel God's love through our hugs; do they see God's love in our smile; do they hear God's salvation in our words. Do they? Do they see hope or despair? Do they feel love or hate? Do they know Jesus' unconditional love through the sacrifice of His life for our sins? Do they know they can be forgiven? Do they? Do they hear words of encouragement or criticism? Do they feel strength or intimidation? Do they?
Yes, these reflective questions help me to review my life and what I want the world to see. I want them to see the person who is clothed in Christ. I want them to see the beauty that God gives to me. I want them to feel the Holy Spirit. If I want all these things - then I need to be the red, yellow and orange leaves of a tree in autumn. God's brilliance needs to be shown to all.
Take the time, this fall, to experience the clothing grace God provides - in us. Take the time, this fall, to experience the beauty God provides - in our world. May the incredible beauty and majesty of this season bring you peace.
"I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: My justice was as a robe and a diadem." (NI) Job 29:14