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The Most Understanding Season

September 27, 2017
By Mara Wiseman, Mt. Bethel member

I’m convinced fall is the most understanding season.

Something about the sharp, shifty winds hugging you up with the strange comfort that thunder or a booming train whistle in the night bring. It’s a simultaneous call to peace and to courage and to a more real reality.

It knows your sorrows, but it also knows your giddy untamed-ness. It stirs up your passions, settled in your heart like silt on a lazy river floor.

A dear friend of mine sometimes says Autumn is for lovers, like Virginia I guess. I agree, in a divine sense. I can’t help but imagine His laughter, His raw strength, His unpredictability wrapped in sturdy faithfulness, all lacing the winds that disrupt the leaves and cause me to pull my sweater up gawkily around my neck.

Yes, He’s quiet and gentle. He follows us with patient tenderness when we stray.

But He’s also rude, from an American, or maybe just human, point of view. He makes His own rules (and is He not allowed to, as the Creator and King of all things?) He barges in, unafraid to disrupt the polite, settled, sensical order of things. Not like an awkward, uninvited dinner party guest. No, like an emerald-eyed lover with pure and passionate jealousy. Like a protective mother, both warm and threatening, willingly and eagerly risking her all to retrieve her flesh and blood from danger.

His breath, His spirit, the only thing that differentiates man from dirt — that — that’s what races through the air and rattles my storm door  and tangles my hair.

I listen, I wait. My stomach twists and turns with anticipation.

He says “you’re seen and known and sought after.” He tells me winsome and curious stories about Us that seem impossible, or at least improbable, but then He holds out his hand to lead me into those very things. He says there’s always more and He asks me to believe.

I listen, I wait. I take His hand. He is gracious with me as I hold His fingers hesitantly.

And I’m convinced fall is the most understanding season.

Mara Wiseman, Mt. Bethel Member