Hours of Gold in a Year of Lead

The heaviness of this year has been at times almost stifling. The threat of illness, the political disputes, the racial violence, the very real sense that we are living in a world gone mad. It has been perplexing, bewildering, and sometimes devastating. I must be very naive. The hatred and deception seem unparalleled, unprecedented. And yet, thousands of years ago the world was so evil, God saw fit to end it and begin again. And not so long after that, two particular cities were filled with such vileness that they suffered a rain of brimstone from Heaven and never were rebuilt. I guess it isn’t that new.

This year has been a weariness.

But God in His faithfulness has provided golden hours amidst the leadenness of this year. Hours with family and friends, days spent hiking and camping and exploring. Evenings and mornings snuggling my precious cats. Trail running with my dog. The challenge of work. New adventures.

I haven’t blogged much this year, and I’m not exactly sure why. Whether it was the busyness of life, or possibly just needing a break, needing to enjoy life for a time without always needing to share it afterwards, I don’t know. Maybe the heaviness of the year ate into the reserves of joy that well into my writing. Possibly a little bit of everything. But my heart has been hungering for the words on the page again, the delight of crafting sentences and the joyful sweetness of capturing beauty in word and photograph. I’ve missed the intentionality of looking for things to marvel at, and of carefully savoring the memories as I try to share it with you. And now more than ever, that intentionality is important, the reveling in joy is important, and the peace and delight of reflection is important.

In this golden time of year, with the awesome display of the changing seasons, the bittersweet fading of the year’s warmth, the strangely slanting shadows and the chill, frosty mornings, I’m reminded of God’s constancy. As everything changes, as the year moves towards winter, God doesn’t change. He is so unchanging that he can bring about change in unchanging ways.

This autumn is happening just like any other autumn. The spice of it is just like last year, only new. The sweet is just like last year, only new. And God’s mercies are just like yesterday’s mercies, and last year’s mercies, and last century’s mercies. Only they are new, each day.

And always sufficient. Always abundant. The glimmer of gold in a world of lead.

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