Nature’s Evangelists

 

It’s the time of year when all my Arkansas friends begin posting pictures of the beautiful foliage.  This one (pictured, right) is from my former    secretary in my first appointment in Waldron,  Arkansas. It certainly is gorgeous, and you have to give it to Arkansas for autumn drives-seeing the picture was enough to cause me to belt out the corny Department of Tourism song from the 1980’s,

“October morning, in the Ozark Mountains,

Hills a blazin’ like the sun in the sky….

Oh, I may wander but when I do,

I’ll never be far from you.

You’re in my blood and I know you’ll always be:

Arkansas, you run deep in me!”

 

The colors of fall are probably one of the most

effective evangelists of the natural world. The reds and golds and yellows and oranges and browns and greens float together in a sea of leaves blanketing the hillsides, like waves reflecting the sunset. God clearly delights in diversity and richness and extravagance. It is clear in our Creation account that God blesses the manifold of the Holy Creation. The Spirit of Life: that blowing breath that sweeps over creation at its inception, the mighty wind bursting through the windows of the early church and setting it on fire. That Spirit of exuberance and vitality is present in every moment. Life makes a grand finale before it goes to sleep for the winter.

 

Even though those leaves start wrecking havoc on my allergies after they fall and begin getting moldy, a hardwood forest ablaze in the fall is certainly one of the most transcendent sights one can behold.  When we lived in Morris, I was the proud steward of a Golden Maple (pictured above, left) that was known around town as being the prettiest Morris had to offer.  Wesley and I used to climb it, especially in the fall, when being amongst the golden leaves gave an added element of mystique to the usual thrill of climbing a tree.   So, all that being said, enjoy the fall—because it doesn’t last long!