I’ve gone to the same hair stylist since I was in the 9th grade. I’ve cried in that chair with all my insecurities, I’ve laughed in that chair , I’ve listened, and I’ve learned. Not just about the sweet lady that does my hair and her desire for it to be the best it can be, but the by those who come and go from other chairs. If you think about it, being a hairstylist can be a pretty exhausting job. Some jobs take hours on end of coloring and cutting. You have to socially weigh when to let silence commence or when to strike up conversation. There’s also an art and almost a science to shaping and coloring hair. To do it with excellence takes time and diligence.
Over the years we’ve learned to understand each other and the silences are no longer uncomfortable. There isn’t always this immediate need to fill the void. Yet something popped into my head as I was sitting there recently that was by nature me filling conversation. It was a thought that had my wheels turning. As she meticulously made sure every cut was just right, every hair in the right place, I randomly said “Isn’t it interesting how we wake up one day and the leaves have seemingly changed colors over night? It’s that way every year. But that can’t be how it really happens right?”
While I may have learned it in elementary school, reading up on the why and how of the change that occurs was like learning it for the first time. It’s fascinating. During Summer and Spring months the leaves on a tree produce chlorophyll (the ability to turn sunlight into glucose). Without the presence of consistent sunlight, the production of it comes to a slow halt. Were the weather this way all year round those colors would be around for more than just a season. The orange and yellow colors we see before they fall to the ground are masked by the green! Even more cool. Once the leaves begin to slowly fall to the ground they aren’t waisted. The trees themselves receive nutrients from them. They absorb water and go right back to where they came from in a sense. What gave them life becomes something they themselves give life. The sustainable cycle turns over and over.
My friends. Isn’t it interesting when we wake up one day and realize so much has changed in our lives? We asks ourselves how on earth we got where we are. We feel like we’re just waiting for the colors to change. And when they do it seems like they fade so quickly. The seasons of joy and happiness seem to fade as soon as they arrive. Maybe, just maybe we’re like the leaves. Or the leaves the seasons that hang on our branches. After all He is the vine right?
“Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”
John 15:2-4 ESV
It’s a simple yet fascinating analogy really. One He knew before He set this world into motion. Already we are clean. Already we have an array of colors living and breathing inside of us. Yet often through seasons they are masked. There’s struggle, there’s work to be done. We don’t see the fruit being produced. But all the while it’s there. It’s there my love. When you look to the fall foliage this fall remember the colors you can and do produce through the source of life. Remember the joy, remember the times you feel you’ve gone without. Remember that the sustainable cycle turns over and over. It won’t stop. So don’t you stop.
There will be drought, leaves will fall. Things will be pruned away to make way for so much beauty. Our open eyes and hearts willing to get uncomfortable are vital to that process. Don’t stop looking for the beauty underneath in the seasons where it’s not so easy to find. Don’t just wake up one day to find it changed. You might miss out on the beauties of the journey in getting there. Change may take time, but the beauties along the way are undeniable.
You hold the colors of life being renewed day by day. You hold the colors to bring beauty and grace to a world whose colors are dying. You hold the colors of the glory of a God who sustains you in every season. Fall into and abide in Him with me.
Already but not yet,