There’s a part of me that always enjoys when science is stumped. I discovered that science doesn’t really understand why the colors of the leaves in fall are more vibrant some years than others. There are theories about having enough rain, an early frost, and Indian summer. The old-timers in Vermont are convinced it’s the early frost, and I tend to agree, but no one knows why that’s true. As I said, science is just stumped. The vivid reds, yellows, and oranges of fall defy explanation. We are simply left to enjoy the rainbow of colors and witness in awe God’s creation. I like that feeling. I like the thought of awe and wonder in the world. I believe we too often become jaded, cynical, and complacent. Our childhood sense of wonder is replaced with explanations and reasons. We stop looking around us and focus on only what is directly in front of us. We are no longer surprised. Somehow the world loses its magic.
The eastern world has always left room for wonder. It has always embraced mystery where we in the west have shied away. We in the west like explanations. We like reasons. It’s why we like science. But science doesn’t hold all the answers. The world is more wondrous and mysterious than we can imagine and time and again we rediscover that truth. Beyond the leaves of fall, the Gospel itself is a mystery. Grace, God’s undeserved love, is beyond explanation. It defies common sense. It is not rational. It is the stuff of wonder, mystery, and awe. It is to be celebrated and enjoyed. Grace is the color of leaves in the fall. A gift given that is embraced and welcomed and whose truth is real and powerful though never completely explained.
This year, I will simply enjoy the colors of fall. I will open myself to the wonder. I will see in the leaves not only the hand of God but also God’s grace.