The other evening Dorothy and I were talking with our neighbors in their front yard. It was a typical cloudy fall day. Suddenly I realized that the sunlight had broken through the clouds and a shaft of light was shining directly through a tree – a glorious red and orange-leafed maple tree in the front yard of a neighbor down the street. It was like a spotlight had been turned on and God was saying, “Look at this!” We all turned and looked with awe.
One of our family traditions is to take a Fall Foliage Tour. I drive, Dorothy is in the front seat and, when they were at home, the girls rode in the back. Now they have to ride in their own cars, with their own families, behind us through Tulsa’s Memorial Park Cemetery. The place is quiet. There is not much traffic, and the trees are spectacular. The roads are a little tricky in places, but the trip is worth it. In the old days we could feed the ducks, geese and swans, but since the pond has been renovated and the swans moved across town, the signs say we cannot feed the birds.
I learned long ago to embrace the beauty of a cemetery. I have a life-time of friends and loved ones buried in cemeteries. I do not fear the resting places of the dead. In fact, many of the tourist spots of the world are really cemeteries (the Great Pyramids of Egypt, the Taj Mahal of India, the cathedrals of Europe, etc).
Here it is Halloween 2009. In today’s top-ranked movies, books and TV programs, vampires and zombies are everywhere. It’s a world of fear out there where people don’t die and stay buried. But I still hear God saying, “Look at this. Behold the beauty of creation. See the wonder of grace at work. Find life in the midst of grief and death. Know the love and truth that will set you free from fears of death and life. Follow Me, I know the way.”
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Stand in awe of God’s majesty. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.