This week I am in the Carolinas and experiencing fall dressed in her most vibrant finery. Deep reds add just the perfect pop of color to a scene trending to browns and grays. The trees seem to be in perpetual competition with each one trying to outdo the next. Every neighborhood radiates with the glow of these show-off hues. I have never seen Columbia look more inviting.
For many years now I have lived in an area of the country where seasons are defined by subtle variations instead of whole world makeovers.
I had forgotten the joy of chilly fall days and the pure pleasure of long walks with the sound of crunching leaves providing a rhythmic undertone. I had forgotten that in some places the hot days of summer are escorted to the door with blazing fanfare and winter makes its entrance on a leafy red carpet.
I had forgotten that when the sun turns in early and leaves the night air to fend for itself, friends are drawn to share light and warmth in cozy living rooms. I had forgotten that a pot of soup or gumbo provides a not to be turned down invitation for those who want to nourish both body and soul.
Now I remember why fall was my favorite time of the year when I was growing up in the Midwest.
At the end of this heart enriching fall day, I am filled with simple gratitude for a walk along the river, an afternoon of making gumbo and an evening of sitting on the floor with newly made friends. I am grateful I heard firsthand the stories of these young people and could see how God is directing them to make his name known throughout the world.
…For He did you good and [showed you] kindness and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with nourishment and happiness. (Acts 14:1 Amplified)