• Mon. Oct 3rd, 2022

Do not skip the winter | Guest column

ByJanice K. Merrill

Oct 29, 2021


There are the falls, and then there are the falls. A snowless fall provided the perfect protection for a deep panorama of beauty. Splashes of color surround the houses in our neighborhood. A full spectrum. An artist’s palette. It is breathtaking. The crescendo of this fall experience erupted in spontaneous prayer a few days ago during a walk. “Lord,” I pleaded, “please keep the leaves on the trees! “

No premeditation. No preparation. Just a visceral reaction to the beauty in front of me. A whisper. Advocacy. Irrational. I know. Impossible. Sure. Childish. Absoutely. But honest. Bare branches do not compete for the explosion of color. And so my heart spoke before my mind could reason.

Yet even as the whisper floated in the air, I thought about what that prayer revealed, what it meant. “Lord, can’t we make it through the winter? “Lord, I love to look out our back windows and see trees full of leaves. Leaves that hide the view of my neighbor’s garage. Leaves surrounding it. Leave that tampon. “Lord, I don’t want black and white when I can have Technicolor. “

I have already said this prayer. Not on the foliage, but on life. About my situation. “Lord, keep it from Falling.” “Lord, let’s just avoid winter and go straight to spring.” Maybe you whispered the same thing. Unconsciously, but authentically. Rest assured. This prayer. This whisper. This plea has a precedent. With Jesus …

“Father, if you will, take this cup away from me.” Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done. (Luke 22:42) And his three closest disciples as they were experiencing the top of a mountain… And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you want, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah. “(Matthew 17: 4)

Rest assured. The desire of your heart and soul to remain in the midst of beauty is not a sin. It’s homesickness for the Garden. He aspires to the permanence of Glory. Yet, looking at the collection of leaves in my garden this afternoon, I know my whispered prayer was not answered. Not yet. Not now… but soon.

Winter is coming. It’s always like that. And as the leaves surrender, so do my autonomy, my egocentricity, my overconfidence. Winter reminds me of my desperate state. Of my total breakup. From a just, holy, merciful and merciful God. As surely as the falling leaves… Spring will come. Not despite the winter, but because of it. To remind me. To educate me. To guide me. To inspire me.

Don’t ignore the whisper. Don’t shy away from it. Indeed, the seasons escort us in the presence, permanence and promise of God. Adopt the colors of fall. Surrender to the lessons of winter. Live with the confidence of spring. At the moment, there is no winter jump. The leaves of my garden remind me of this.


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