the twilight of fall

C.S. Lewis has famously called spring the waiting room of the world.

And how much longing there is in those months of March, April and May when every glance toward a tree is straining to see a centimeter of green budding on the tips. Every morning is hopeful for white turned to brown, turned to growth. We wait and wait and wait in spring.

But fall is another matter entirely. Fall is that rare wonder of blessing that is granted practically upon our first inclination to want it.

Our eyes are suddenly catching glimpses of orange, red and yellow. Everything is crisp and crunchy. And how we love it. We love it so much we can hardly imagine that we ever  wished it to be any other way. Summer is scorned in the long shadow of autumn’s glory.

Yet as soon as it is at its very prime–the peak has come–it is already hinting at its departure. The air is too crisp, it freezes in our nose. The leaves are all crunch and no color.

The blessing of fall comes while we yet enjoy the lingering warmth of summer and it slips away long before we’re ready. If spring is the waiting room, fall is the final arrival and last goodbye. It is the sweet hymn that carries us to death. It is the twilight before all the lights go out.

Was ever dying so beautiful as it is in fall? Fall shows us the beauty that dying ought to be. Dying may be the most beautiful, painful part of living. Jesus died on a cross. All pain and horror, yet beautiful forgiveness was won.

Then three days of darkest winter and spring came again.

So, yes, fall is the twilight that leads to death. And death is that stingless, victory-less gateway to life. So white and cold it will have no taste in my mouth. It is the blink that brings us to eternity.

a provocative reality for parents

Apart from their own sin nature, it’s almost certain that I will be the single biggest influence of sin in my children’s lives.

What do you think?  Do you own that?

Here’s why I own that and continue parenting with boldness(instead of throwing in the towel in hopelessness): Christ and His work on the Cross makes all the sin that I commit around and against my children an opportunity for them to see the effective and redemptive work of the Savior in their sinful mother’s life.

Do I sin willingly or without shame and grief: no, no, no.  But the grief that accompanies the sin, the confession and repentance and forgiveness that happen, are the primary ways my children will actually be able to see the Gospel with their own eyes.

And I pray that seeing it day after day, reading it in the Word day after day, that they will want to taste it for themselves.  And that God will call them to taste and see that He is good.  That He is sweeter than honey.  That the Person of Jesus is wonderful and terrifying and gracious and uncompromising and more than they could ever exhaustively know.

Yet that they will long for more of the knowledge of God and His Son and will pursue it with the complete devotion of bought and paid for children of the Heavenly Father.