How Leaves Reflect Our Lives
I love the beauty of nature. That is one reason why I am compelled to pick up leaves in the fall when I walk. Over the past months I have seen so many beautiful leaves, and have gathered a few each time I walked. Each new leaf seemed more beautiful than the last.
As I looked at my gathered leaves months later, I was struck by how they reflect different aspects of our lives.
What we tend to show to the world is how these leaves looked when I originally gathered them. We dress in our “Sunday best” and try to appear like our life is progressing smoothly, with no bumps or trouble. We don’t admit we don’t feel pretty or handsome. We don’t say we don’t feel like we are shining brightly.
We may present very positively, but inside feel like we are splintering. The effort of presenting an image to others instead of our reality is taxing.
This leaf may better represent how we truly feel about ourselves: primarily dull, spots and veins showing, only a little color. We may also feel like a few parts of ourselves have been broken off simply as a result of trying to cope for the last several years.
Now look at this exact same leaf with some light shining on it. I see a lovely yellow color with highlights of red. To me, the few spots represent life experiences. I think our friends and anyone who cares about us see us this way: a thing of beauty.
I realize I am comfortable presenting like this leaf - showing no big cracks or broken off pieces; and the color, although not exciting, is not terrible.
But let's be real, my life is not an absolutely smooth road; no one's is.
So what can we do when we feel broken or splintered, or just dull and dry? I suggest we slow down and evaluate what will make us feel better about ourselves and our lives. We can remember that we are created in God's image; therefore, we are not junk. We can acknowledge that we deserve down time. What makes you feel good? Reading a book, watching your favorite show, going for a walk, talking to a friend, being left alone to enjoy silence? Whatever it is, do that for yourself. And if you are struggling, by all means please contact Colleen Soldate, our Director of Caring Ministries. Colleen has many resources that can be of help. Let your church family help you so that you can feel like this final leaf - full of color and at peace.