We’ve moved to a new phase of Fall. The leaves on the trees have fallen. Nature’s window dressing has come down. Every year it seems it happens so quickly. One day you are enjoying the oranges and reds and yellows and the next time you look around you see the outlines of the branches etched against a fall/winter sky.
This is the time of the year I don’t mind the bare trees. By March, I am ready to see the new leaves budding. But now, I enjoy the intricate designs of trees. The interdependence of the small twigs and branches to the main trunk of the tree is evident in winter bareness. Even some of the roots stand out more distinctly in winter.
In the Bible we have various metaphors given to us indicating we have a similar relationship with the Christ. We are those little branches connected to the trunk that is Jesus and rooted in God’s Love. Just like the trees in the woodlands around us, we are a people of great variety, shapes and sizes.
Sometimes though, we don’t like to see ourselves in such stark reality. We would prefer our personalities and actions were hidden behind the window dressing of our choice – the way we want people to perceive us. Fall/winter landscapes invite us to pay attention to one another – look beyond the outward appearances and see each person connected in the tree of life.
The leaves have fallen. We have entered the season of our own bared souls. And as we stand, stripped of our pretenses, we sing out songs of thanksgiving for all the goodness of our lives. We step into Advent time and await the birthing of our Lord. These gifts of grace are given to us just as we are – not as we have been – not as we wish we are. The bare tree of our being is being renewed and restored this fall/winter season. That is something for which we can give thanks!