Sometimes skies are more gray than blue. Sometimes night-time comes so fast, you might forget to notice today. Most likely you’ll be stuck inside staring at walls, staring at tiles, staring at the dirty water running over sticky dishes and you’ll lose another day on that old wall calendar.
But…..what if we tried not to?
Not to miss the colors, the walks, the sticky mess of candy apples? What if the sky reminded us to stop the crazy cycle of staring at drywall and instead stare at the beauty of written words and breathed out creation? What if, instead of noticing the knot of weariness we noticed the tangled tree swing and the tangle of shoe laces at the bottom of the stairs? What if we actually took that long fall walk and stalked the leaves and their changing. Ran our hands through the kids messy hair and touched the scratch of palest birch bark? What if tomorrow’s darkened morning was the dawn of your new daily search of God’s gracious words? What if He INTENDED for you to stop the hustle of the schedule to, instead, bury a few minutes into the love letter He wrote for YOU?! What if this fall turns into your own falling-in-love story?
To walk is to traverse. To advance by steps. King David knew this, but he also knew that walking might be best with a stick, a rod. After all, he wrote and sang about the protection of that staff, especially, and maybe most importantly, when walking through those darkening valleys. I don’t know about you, but something inside me admits to a gnawing fear of what might lie ahead. Turns out, I don’t know the terrain as well as I thought. But the beauty of the season isn’t worth hiding from either. So I choose to relinquish fear, and walk with the gentle Shepherd anyway. And we’ll throw our heads back and laugh at the day and He’ll ask me out again, because He loves me so deeply.
Isaiah saw the morning dawn. He walked with his shepherd, who, it turns out, was a giant warrior too. Isaiah walked himself into a message. He peeled open his own letter of hope. Hope for a busted up group of people who were stuck in their own walls. Stuck in their own beige crumple of despair. He read and talked about “…..a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory. The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.” (Isa 9:2). Isaiah saw the sun break the horizon. He saw a king, standing tall and broad, his wide stance, unflinching. A lantern dangling from His walking stick and no one can deny the battle wounds in the palms of His hands. And right then, Isaiah writes about those people. Those war ravaged people, throwing up a hooray‼ “They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest.” (Isa 9:3b).
I pick pumpkins with the kids and harvest our own tiny potatoes and I hear the squeals and cries of delight and their season is towering in just a few short hours. The husband blows crispy leaves and they float above and around us and the magic of the occasion isn’t lost on me. I know this is all part of that love letter. Part of that quest to draw me in deeper. To open my eyes to the change and know there is glory at the end of this road.
We each have this love letter. I’m finding that mine seem to be short and sweet on the easy days, but when conditions get rocky, Jesus stacks mine up. Stacks to cushion the bumps, the boulders, the sharp pains. He piles love letters around tough phone calls, heartbreaking headlines, and my teetering self-worth.
“As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” (Gen. 8:22). And as long as you and I have breath in our bodies there will be God’s letters of love to encourage us, to hold us, to value us, to sweep us off our feet. And in this beautiful season of apple picking, leaf piling, and pumpkin pie, may there also be a love story. Yours! Might you open that autumn scented letter of scripture and feel Him wrap you in tenderness.
Enjoy this season, friend. He’s MAD about you‼
Walking in love,