The center of the picture is flaming orange
One of the most beautiful, brightly colored trees
you’ve ever laid eyes on.
She is set against a background of
Various yellows and greens
To the right and to the left
And of autumn purples and olives
to the top right.
The blue sky completes the background
With shining white clouds
Slowly floating past.
Off to the right, a little brick church
with a white steeple
Rises into the picture.
The sun shines on the flaming orange tree
Bringing out still other
Which were not apparent
Even a few moments ago.
Who would have thought
Only a few weeks ago
That this place would be transformed
Into such a spot of beauty,
As the giant green lady
Dons her magnificent robe of orange
And decides to make a difference in her world,
A shining example of God’s beauty
Manifest all the more
Against the darker colors of life!
(written by me on October 15, 1992 in the midst of great trials)
The beautiful orange lady
Is taking a rest now
From her labors.
She finished her work early
And shed her majestic robe
Leaf by leaf.
She clings to a fading remnant
Of her former glory
As she stands tall and straight;
Her former beautiful covering
Lies in a large, orange circle around her feet;
She has decided to share it
With her neighbor – the grass.
A few of her taller neighbors,
Having not yet finished their work for the year,
Still are wearing their multicolored garments.
The tall, brave lady
Tries to be happy for her neighbors.
She clings to the hope of coming days
When she will sparkle with
The diamonds of ice,
And when she will be privileged to wear ermine robes of snow.
And then, one day, if the Lord so wills it,
Brighter, warmer days will return
Bringing new life,
And the sleeping giant of a lady
Don her new green robe,
And begin her work anew.
(By me, October 29, 1992)
By way of explanation, I was going through great trials when I wrote these poems, and I saw myself in the tree. I saw that God gave me an opportunity to shine for Him even in the midst of difficulties. I also saw that when I had experienced such loss and felt the cold trying to creep into my soul, I could choose to dwell on thoughts of hope for a better day, a better time, which with the passing of time God has, in fact brought about.
I hope that this story of courage in the orange lady will be an encouragement to someone else who is feeling loss and experiencing a winter of the soul, which may feel like THE winter of the soul, a winter that will never end.
But I’ve discovered that God helps us to find Him in the winters of our soul, when we seek Him, and that He ordains the spring of the soul to follow the winter of the soul just as surely as the climactic seasons of the earth change from winter to spring.
Way back in the beginning of the world, death came as a result of sin, just as God had warned Adam and Eve that it would.
But I believe that even way back then, God had already planned the miracle of resurrection to follow death, just as He had already planned to send the Savior, and He gave us seasons to symbolize the cycle and to help us remember that there is hope in Him no matter what may happen to us and to those we love.
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