It was the day after. The skies were gray, the rain pouring on and off, and much of the beautiful fall leaves had been beaten down to the ground from the branches where, collectively, they had created beautiful mosaics of color that I had been awaiting all year.
You see, fall is my favorite season.
But on that day…the day after the devastating event that left me reeling from the suddenness of a loss so great…the gray overtook the color. The rain turned the ground to mud. The clouds hid the sun shining high above, dimming the world.
Just as one earthly life had been dimmed the day before.
We wonder why the grayness even exists. In light of the good God that we believe in, why overwhelming sadness is allowed to envelop our lives. If the Jesus we believe in is the Light of the world, why is it that darkness is allowed to even step into the threshold of our lives?
The grayness makes us question whether the light ever existed in the first place.
But as the day wore on, God made clear why darkness is still allowed to persist despite the victory won by said Light of the world.
We saw eyes that were not our own rimmed with tears. We heard both the loud and silent cries that poured from hearts that beat outside our chests. We felt the warm embrace of arms that enveloped us. We tasted the food filled with so much love and compassion we did not cook. We smelled the aroma of the fragrant perfume of bodies outside ourselves that drew near in the midst of our devastation.
It’s in the grayness that the Light of Jesus in others can shine so bright that we can tangibly experience His Presence.
And it’s that same Light that gives us the hope to step into the day after…when the colors of the trees would become vibrant again, the mud would dry, and the sun would warm our hearts, minds, and bodies once again.
On this Thanksgiving Day, I thank God for the gray skies. I thank God for the cold rain. I thank God for the clouds that shadow the sun.
Because it is in the darkness of life that Jesus’ love shines the brightest.