The leaves are dying. That is the truth of it. Careening toward their end in an exuberance of flame. The beauty of it slashes into my chest, stealing my breath. Delicious agony! This moment will not last. It is passage. It is threshold. It is death.
Tornado warnings. Gusts of wind hurling the chairs from our front porch. Turbulence. Trouble. The sky, at war with itself. Menacing blue-black clouds crawl across the sky sucking out all the light; slapping great drops of rain against the windows. Until...the sun tears a hole the the clouds, shooting down shafts of light, making diamonds of raindrops and giving each leaf its own luminosity. And I am undone. Devastated by beauty. Broken beauty.
My friends are hurting. Fighting for their marriages; for their children. Wrestling with God. Barely hanging on, some of them. Turbulence. Trouble. Death. But, against this dark, desperate ground, a silhouette of grace. Humility...a willingness to die to self to love another. Courage...doing what is right, what is best, even when it is terrifying. Honesty...living vulnerably with God and with others...asking tough questions...and sometimes living without answers. Generosity...out of the depths of their own pain, giving to others who are hurting...because they understand.
I despise the situations that bring pain to my friends, to my family, to myself. Sometimes it seems to be too much. But I have learned...am learning...that sometimes beauty is impossible without brokenness....