As I stepped outside, the scents assailed my nostrils with the fullness of life after an all night rain. My face tilts upward, embracing the sun’s warmth and I enter into the heavenly smells of fresh cut grass and perfumed blossoms. The pictures above tell the story of my walk today, and of how God awoke my spirit to the brokenness amidst the beauty. Romans 1:20 clearly speaks of what I experienced today, ‘ For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.’
Everything that I saw, smelled and felt on my walk I knew was from Him, there was no reason or excuse to think otherwise. It began with the baby bunny that hopped across the road in front of me and despite his instincts, sat very still as I moved in closer for a picture. I continued on through my regular pathway down streets and through parks and by the first lake. Its stillness only disturbed by flirting ducks and a slight breeze. As I rounded the corner my eyes were overwhelmed by the contrast of the flowering crabapple blossoms making a carpet beside the green grass littered with yellow dandelions.
I breathed deeply as I made my way down the streets and came upon the next lake paths. Facing the lake was a bench covered in bouquets of flowers. As I moved closer I saw it was a memorium for a young man that had died tragically at the age of 17. Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of his passing. I sat and wept and prayed for this family as I felt the burden of their loss. I cannot even imagine losing a child. I know how my heart has broken watching my children experience traumatic things but I can’t even relate to the incredible loss of a child. I imagined this place may have been a refuge for this family when their son was alive. A place they may have experienced the glory of new life in this season, sitting on that very bench. Now it is just a place that serves as a reminder at the attempt to keep alive the memories of someone very precious.
Out of the corner of my tear filled eye, I caught a movement and looked to see a mama duck and her 9 ducklings huddled together. The park is teeming with life while still containing brokenness as the bench represented. Life goes on despite our desire to freeze frame it sometimes. I remember after I lost my Mom, I wanted to scream as life folded in, STOP, don’t you know what has happened! As the writer of Ecclesiastes wrote, this too shall pass, and it does, eventually. No one can walk the path of grief for us, or tell us for how long our hearts will feel broken. I do know that new life brings hope and that as we continue to experience God’s invisible qualities through all He has made, the healing does come. I know that as I gave him my mourning, joy did come in the morning, eventually.
As I finished my walk around the lake, a family of geese appeared in the rushes. Papa hissed at me despite my distance so I quickly snapped my last picture and turned around. A new appreciation welled up inside of me as I imagined how the Papa who lost his son would have wanted to protect him and so I prayed that he would be comforted and have a knowing that he did all that he could do. And I prayed that our all knowing Papa God would comfort that family and put their hearts back together and that all of this new life in this season would whisper some kind of hope to them. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5.
Who do you know that needs comforting or encouragement today?