When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child;
1 Corinthians 13:11
In the Fall of my life, leaves peeled away from my branches and fell to the ground. In my understanding, I was like a tree. Once flourishing in a glow of parental care, the green leaves of innocence of my very young times. The sureness and comfort of youth. The seriousness of my cares lie in my next meal or when I should see my Father’s face when he arrived home from work. When I was a child I did not fear. I did not have a care for anything outside of a very small sphere of influence. Lies are awaiting, seeking.
Jesus was a name in a book and as my green leaves began to wither and turn to a fiery orange-red, I felt a change in my life but could not comprehend it. My protection of green foliage slowly stripped away until the last leaf fell and I was exposed to the angry, imminent elements of a harsh winter. But first the Fall…
I was now seen in the company of the evil one. He perched on my branch as a raven with its beady eyes peering. Most do entertain his company after we are exposed. He is seen walking with us as we seek to be older than we really can be. Our exposure is his invitation. As we shed the skin of our earliest protection, as we think further than we can walk, we carry an innocence that is an invitation to he who seeks his prey.
I still spoke as a child even as I put away my childish things. My understanding was still as a child even though in my own mind I was no longer a sapling, but a sturdy tree. God saw. He loved me. He waited patiently. For He knew that this young tree would bend in the slight breeze, cower in the first rain, and begin to build a pride to withstand. God knew that the pride I would now choose as protection would need to be broken in my Spring. One does not come to this season of Spring until one has crossed the desolate Winter where pride blossoms. But again, the Fall…
Maybe the Fall relates to the ‘Fall’. Yes the Fall. For wasn’t I falling? My self-reliance waxed, my fears waned. In reality I was already fallen, the Bible tells us; but, I was just an innocent child! Even so, fallen. Now was a time when I would begin to demonstrate that self-reliance, or pride maturity, was the manifestation of the fallen. Pride grows as Sunday school becomes a memory. Jesus is not even a name in a book. He is all but forgotten in these times. In my self-reliance, Jesus gently smiles and reached for my hand. I am oblivious to His gentleness. I have control. Adamantly persistent. The same nature that lures me away from His gentleness, sees my branches grow brittle. I see a Sun set earlier and see more and more night.
It is a precarious time, the Fall. In the Fall one seeks their pride and finds it to walk on a godless path. We must see our faults to know what we must lose. However, not this season. In my eyes, I am a mighty tree. In reality a fragile sapling void of leaves. Naked and exposed. Holding hands with the one who is evil as he leads me away. It is dark but I am not sleepy! It is dark but it is still early as the Sun has set. Jesus walks with us as the evil one sneers: “He is mine!” Jesus is steadfast, unflappable.
The burning Sun sets as the Harvest moon rises. I am older, self-reliant, and walk in the light of the Harvest moon. But it is the wrong light and God sees. He waits and knows my path is now obstacle-filled. These obstacles are traversed effortlessly for now…but wait: the Winter lies in wait. My heart and soul follow my ever-building pride.
I was once an innocent child, we all were. We stepped out with the confidence of an adult as wings grew. It was wonderful, but we could not see that we were exposed and would be snatched up by all temptation.
As I look back I see only God. In this time of my life I see God over me and watching just as He watched the evil one test Job. In His mercy I survived the Fall and subsequent Winter of my youth. Now I see! It was all part of God’s plan. I lost a few branches in that stormy Fall and felt the icy emptiness of the Winter. For another time…
I praise God who has always been with me. He has always loved me and knew one day I would break the tight grasp of Satan’s hand-hold. He would sneer and fade away giving way to a Light! Not the Harvest Moon, but Jesus Christ Light of the world. God knew.
April 21, 2012