Over the past week the leaves have saturated the Michigan skyline with rich, brilliant colors. Clouds that taunted us all summer have finally expelled rain, turning the tree trunks black as night. The other day I was standing on the sidewalk admiring the colors of the leaves against the black trunks when the sky turned dark, warning of another rainstorm. The colors popped against the black trunks and the darkened sky.
Then a streak of sunshine burst through the storm clouds, lighting up a yellow tree. The wind picked up the leaves and they shimmered like gold.
I stood in silence. In worship. In awe.
Just before I turned to go inside I thought about how against the darkest backgrounds of our lives we can either blend into the darkness or we can allow our colors to shine in contrast to our surroundings.
I know a lot of people whose lives have pretty dark backgrounds right now. Childhood cancers. Rare diseases. Disabilities. Months of unemployment. Marital strife.
But rather than sinking into the darkness, their lives are radiating the brilliant colors of hope, of faith, and of love.
They could easily drop into the black hole of anger and bitterness and resentment because life isn’t turning out the way they thought it would. And while many of their questions remain unanswered, and they fight periods of anger and frustration, they lean into their faith.
They exude inexplicable joy. Thanksgiving.
They are proof of God’s light shining through the storm clouds of life.
They inspire me. They teach me. I admire them. I want my colors to shine in the darkness.