Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower. ~ Albert Camus
So I grab the camera off the counter, let afternoon sun find me kneeling beside the tree I've named Gratitude. Because who can resist capturing the blooms of Autumn, their colors dripping off every branch?
And haven't I already written it here, that the falling leaves aren't a rain of ashes but a shower of hope?
Oh, I might've thought Spring was the season when hope was most real--life breaking free from the death-grip of Winter, beauty bursting out from every earthen surface. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?
It's taken nearly three decades of a life for me to understand, but finally I see what's always been true. It's the laying down of all that we are and all the we have, burying it deep in the soil of the One Who Loves, and waiting in expectation for His Life to emerge within us--this is hope.
Hope holds itself against a cross when the whole world thinks the story's over. Hope lets go of the last breath of life while the enemy's taunt still rings out. Hope lets Love bury it in the darkness and waits patiently, expectantly for God to show up.
Because Hope isn't afraid of the dying and the burying. No, Hope knows that God's never defeated and what's there to fear when the darkness has already been conquered by the One Who lights up the whole world?
And this God Who Loves, He knows we'll see Him most when life comes straight out of the dying, when beauty and glory and God emerge right from the barren ground beneath us.
I never would have believed that hope could ring out in the coming of Autumn, in the burying of all this life. But this song's always been here and I've been deafened too long by fear and hurt and a whole life of discontent.
I might regret all the years I've lived without knowing and I might wish I could go back, rewrite this story. But haven't I always known that He's the One Who writes the story of a life and there's nothing He can't redeem for His Glory?
So I'm burying my regrets beside all the fear and the hurt and the whole life of discontent. Because when it's God Who'll unearth us in the Spring, who wants to hold back from laying it all down?
Yes, the trees are bleeding fiery hope and I'm standing here drinking it in.
Because maybe Autumn isn't the second spring after all. Maybe it's the first.