The piercing wind and cold has come to this beautiful land. We must use our fire each day to keep our house warm and a simple, quick walk to take out the trash leaves me deeply cold. I must sit in front of the blazing wood fire, in order to take the chill off my back and keep it out of my bones.
Fall has come and winter is on it's heals fast here!
As I took my morning walk yesterday, out and into the fields around our house, I was struck with the beauty of death.
All around me the leaves are dying and falling. They littered my path in browns, oranges and red. What beauty to behold in this always-green place I live. Color scattered! They die and fall. As they die the display such splendor.
Beauty in death. As I walk and pray, I am reminded of the Scriptures that I have been directed to as of late: "teach me to number my days rightly, that I may apply my heart to wisdom." (Psalm 90:12) and "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." (Mark 8:34)
Not all death is beautiful, I know. I know this deeply and watch other deaths around me every day with a profound, deep, lingering sadness. Like seeing the once berry-full-bushes which gave me such joy as we ate our way through the fields only a month ago. Now, they look horrid... withered, black, abandoned, and tired. Will they ever produce again? These remind me of ugly deaths.
But, some death can be beautiful. Death can fall with color...
Thomas a Kempis reminds us, "My dear friends, abandon yourself, and you will find Me. Give up your will and every title to yourself, and you will always come out ahead, for greater grace will be yours the moment you turn yourself over to Me once and for all."
Reuben Job reminds us, "Jesus always invites us to choose life by forsaking our way of life for his way of life."
And, Henri Nouwen writes, "In the act of prayer, we undermine the illusion of control by divesting ourselves of all false belongings and by directing ourselves totally to the God who is the only one to whom we belong. Prayer is the act of dying to all that we consider to be our own and of being born to a new existence which is not of this world. Prayer is indeed a death to the world so that we can live for God".
A greater grace. Choosing life through death. A new existence that is not of this world. To live for God. To live in God... through God. This can be a death that sparkles with color!
Would denying myself... my choice to die to me and choose life, real life--- His life in me... Could that death be colorful and beautiful? I think so. This is what I am pondering today.
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20
re-post from October 2011