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Archive for December, 2014

When I see the muted colours of autumn I imagine God’s paintbrush making the first rough brush strokes of next year’s glorious painting.

The promise of new creation is written in muted tones, browns and greys and somber greens.  And if you look very closely there is wondrous beauty hidden here, in the last remnants of autumn.

Dead flower head

Tiny white fringes like miniature ruffles on a pixie’s ball gown.

A dead flower head reveals hundreds of tiny white fringes like miniature ruffles on a pixie’s ball gown. In the centre, a few black seeds are left behind.

Awesome tiny seeds that are poised to scatter on the frozen ground in the next north wind, survive the deep cold and miraculously come to life as new green shoots in spring.

There is both beauty and hope in these dried husks, a season’s end and the promise of resurrection.

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Sun breaking through dark ines.

God’s light shines in darkness.

This was meant to be a post about gratitude, about God’s work in the world.  The first in a series leading up to Christmas, shining light on love and hope in a world that is too often mired in cruelty, greed, despair and evil.

But as I scrolled through my emails this evening one dropped like a bomb onto my screen.  The subject line was “sad news.”  Someone’s relative – a young man in his twenties – has taken his own life.   You are probably familiar with the tragic story line.  A young person living away from home, reached a depth of hopelessness and despair that made death seem like the only alternative.  A family in shock and denial.

Where is God in this senseless loss of life?  How can I write about gratitude and hope in the world now?  How does God let this happen?

All I know is that God walks alongside us in our grief and despair, that God cries out and suffers with us, that God will carry this family in its terrible grief as they walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  God’s love will surround them unawares, even if they rail at God or deny his very existence.  God’s love will shine through family, friends and neighbours who will hold and support them, feed them and listen until they can begin to live again.  Their lives will never be the same, but God’s light will gradually penetrate and one day they will feel hope again.

So maybe this post is about God’s work in the world after all, and what I am trying to express in clumsy words is my gratitude for hope even in the face of tragedy, and my faith in God’s love for us even in our deepest despair.

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