Thursday, August 28, 2008

Seasons of Change

(When life becomes overly stressful or emotional I tend to write. With the passing of my aunt, I felt compelled to write the following. The picture to the right is of my Aunt Lynda with my Uncle Arnold, her husband of over 40 years.)

Blossoms replace the somber desolation, new growth penetrates the bitter air of winter and new life explodes on the canvas of nature as God directs the symphony of his creation. Springing forth from graves of temporary death, life is renewed, new life created and potential is realized. And so it was that in the spring of the year she was delivered to the world by the very hands that knit her together. As morning’s first light shatters the darkness and forever changes that day, so the surface of the still pond was as glass until touched by the presence of the one created in God’s own image. The ripples spill forth from her arrival and will forever resonate in everyone she touched
Summer’s radiant heat is comparable to passion and love of the purist kind. A playful, jovial love forms deeper and more complex love during the frenzied pace and abundant activity of a summer day. A doting parent’s feet will carry them across the cracked earth of the most scorching dessert for the sake of their child. The tracks of her life, as traced through the hot, white sand reveal her immense impact in streams of crystal water; flowing still through the barren wilderness where few find lasting love and rich in compassion and devotion to her children and their children after them.
Autumn trees ablaze with orange covering cannot slow the pace of the pending call. Leaves falling like extinguished ashes, littering the landscape with their shades of completion and hues of culmination are silenced by the mandates of the Creator. As nature temporarily, yet stubbornly, relinquishes the final signs of life so his call to her rang out, piercing the pace of life endured and relished for so long. The created acknowledge the Creator and His will for lives to exist as seasons…and so they honor Him by finishing well. She finished well and leaves in her wake the fruit always produced by the tree of trust and obedience.
Low hanging clouds quickly transform the experiences of earlier seasons into shortened days, darker nights and howling winds. The bleakness of the season is only surpassed by the stinging, bitter cold that invades every space like a raging river after cresting above the levy. Isolation, loneliness and wonderment serve their time in the prison that is this season. Darkness attempts to answer the very questions it asks; the very questions that are only answered in time, not through devotion to the process of answering. Where is life hiding? Why is the life that was so wonderfully and masterfully handcrafted by the I AM suddenly absent and elusive…yet so very near? The cold boulders scattered abroad the brown, gray forest relieve no fears. The valleys and hilltops littered with barren trees are short on reasons. The ice formed over stagnant mountain streams offer no comfort. It is winter.
The Author and Finisher of her faith, of our faith has written another chapter to “The Great Opus of Life”. His final chapter is the best one of all as it causes the beauty of spring, the passion of summer and the questions of autumn to cower in its presence. And what of winter…the harshest and most dismal season of all? His final chapter is not captured by mere words. He can only paint this chapter across the bleak and barren canvas of winter…replacing the invading bitterness, the lingering resentment and questions of faith with hope, peace and joy. And we can never forget love…it is the greatest of his colors and it is poured liberally over his palate. Love never fails, defeat is never fatal and even death is never final.
Our solace is found on the wings of His call. The call, faint yet ever growing, is the call of all eternity and of every person. It emanates from behind the host of those who have gone before us, constantly cheering us on, always reminding us, as she often did, that God is so good, despite our circumstances. She heard his voice, she recognized his call and her entire life is summed up with her reaction to his call. Only walking at first, not wanting autumn to finish out just yet, she broke into a trot and finally a sprint. She hurried as the wind toward Him, unashamed, without regret and full of child-like blissfulness. Her confidence grew exponentially, aware that she fought the good fight. She ran the race. And now God has provided her with a crown of life, real life.
Knowing her and knowing the verses found in that final chapter, I can state with great certainty that she has taken her crown, bowed before the One we will all bow before in time and gently placed her crown at the pierced feet that transcend every season. With that, He smiled the smile that speaks “welcome home” a million times over, enveloped her soul with His and spoke the words she had longed to hear since she was knit together…”well done my good and faithful servant”.

See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me." (Song of Solomon)

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