Sudden and Imperceptible

Change comes slow/And sometimes you don’t notice/The twilight into darkness/The sunrise into day – Jill Phillips

Charge will come as surely as the seasons and twice as quick.” – Little Women

Fall is coming. Its been on its way for awhile now. A wall of warmth no longer waits to greet me as I get the morning paper. The mosquitoes have faded and the flowers are in their final days. I haven’t seen any member of my household for more than three minutes during the last 72 hours. My girls went to their first day of senior year this week. Work is doubling down with the promise of still more to come, and Target had the audacity to set up their Halloween displays this week. And yet in spite of the early warning signs, I keep having to remind myself that summer if drawing to a close.

I’m not ready to give up daylight, wildflowers and pitchers of iced tea on the counter. Yet in spite of my protestations, I know that the rhythm of the seasons is good for my soul. Even when I fight against it, the four quarters of the year work their way under my skin and I can’t help but obey their cries to play, work, rest and create. The calendar grounds me and draws me out of myself, tying me to the rest of humanity who must also submit to her call. And once I yield, I remember that I love this turning sphere and the magic inherent in her that prompts leaves to change colors overnight, that whispers frost onto my windows and sings sprouts out of the ground. If I hadn’t seen it time and time again with my own eyes, I would call you a liar and cower as the world around me seemed to come undone. If I doubted the faithfulness of the One who speaks the seasons to change, I would worry of a world full of winter, but never Christmas. But I have seen, and I do believe.

But I am quick to forget. Change is coming for me in all directions. Many nights, it feels like he is prowling around, just waiting until I get comfortable before he will spring and attack, with changes at home, at work, at church, in relationships. Nothing feels out of his grasp. And I feel that the world around me may come undone.

I wonder if this is how my flowers feel. The nights are colder now, and the sun’s rays don’t have quite the impact they once did. Do they feel undone? I wonder, if I told them what was coming, about getting buried in the earth but growing up again as more than they were before, if they would believe me. Perhaps.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.

Amen.

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