The fast-dimming sky peered back at me, unmoved and I drew my jacket around me closer, shuddering a little.
November-brisk days and soon it will be too cold to bring my babies outside before supper.
The trees seemed to stare at me, emotionless, and the dim, dull ache inside bit away at my sagging spirit.
I looked above, and there was the great, strong tree in our backyard, stripped bare of almost all of its leaves, its glory quick-departing.
I felt like that tree as I stared back at it, stared back at it against the backdrop of the unfeeling sky, oblivious to the cries of my soul.
Felt like that tree stripped of its leaves - felt like it right down to the physical reality of shedding away almost half of my hair in the shower--great wet clumps every time I washed it, my strength seemingly stripped away and my body, tired and drained, all-spent from giving life to one baby after the other.
Life. . .
And the leaves lay on the ground, dying, while the world spun and I was lost in my thoughts of sorrow that seemed to swallow all of me up and spin me out there on the cold November ground among the lonely, life-stripped leaves.
Lost in my reverie, a baby sleeping peacefully against me, I could not shake myself from the sorrow-
The sorrow of tasting death there in cold November,
The sorrow that was robbing me of joy in the month of culminating thanksgiving.
I could not shake away the sorrow, and my very body felt, was weary, drained, seeming-useless.
Until a breath of warmth spoke, there to my lifeless heart among the fallen glory of the leaves--
There is a beauty in the dying---
And no, no, not in death, not in death itself, because death is cold and harsh and ugly - like the sparrow that I saw lying on the ground outside as I walked into church this morning, wet-washed and spit out of the night into that brisk November morning--
Death is ugly--
He remembers each sparrow that falls to the ground...
Beauty in the dying, in the all-abundant colors of the falling leaves spinning to the ground, their last glory bathing the earth in beauty.
Beauty in surrender, in the giving, in the seed thrusting itself from the flower, falling, falling, dying, into the ground to be buried during the barren freeze of Winter.
Beauty in the offering, in the sweet scent of the incense rising from the altar.
Beauty in the dying.
Death is swallowed up in victory.
So I sat outside today in November and the Lord spoke to me there where I was, among the dying leaves, into my own feelings of dying, of changing, of growing older, of letting my own life become lost in the lives of my babies, become a seed buried in the ground--
Though the outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day...
And the sweetness of that truth plucked away the bitter-sadness in my heart -
My outward person is perishing - my body is changing, growing older, slowly losing strength and youth--
But my inward person - being renewed day by day as He grows me in conformity to His dear Son - His Son who died -
Arms outstretched in giving life -
His death birthed my life -
And beauty sang for me in the dying.
I hear a robin. Then, in November, its sweet voice laughing through the pain, into the soon-coming dusk.
The robin sang for me, for all of creation.
Spring is coming, the great sweet Spring that will swallow up sadness and fear and death forever -
When every tear will be wiped away, and death will be swallowed up forever.
Sang for me - beautiful in the dying day -
Sang of life eternal to my soul.
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