And despite all this elegance, full-bodied change impacts humans--the animate, the sentient--not quite so gracefully. But who's to say those trees don't feel the pain of their leaves, exposed to bitter cold, transforming from one shade on the spectrum to another? And when they fall off and float away? Detached, they shrivel and die. And the tree is left bare and stripped.
But trees have no mouthpiece for complaining or for cursing. They stand silent and surrendered to their purpose; willing to be transfigured on a regular cycle and throughout the entirety of their lives. It is when the tree is nude that it rests. And all the transforming creatures in this world rest during a period of change. Oh that I would learn from the very lessons under my nose!
What needs transforming in my life? This forgiveness thing stretches me beyond myself..and not a slow, steady, let-the-muscles-lean-into-it stretch but a wracked, dislocating stretch. But if I am to be of use to Him, if I am to fulfill my purpose, if I am to let the world see the Truth through me, I must be pulled apart before it's all over. Broken, torn down, made small…this is the only way I am workable.
I am an addict to feeling. I base my whole existence on it. Sometimes it is a lie and sometimes it is simply in the way. But I crave it. I surge with it. I wrap myself up in it and call the filth-covered tunic, useful, valid, necessary. And regardless of it's validity, I call it Truth. There is a difference, though, in the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Emotion.
A fact by itself is disinterested in feeling. Take fact and steep it in sentiment and you have the Spirit of Emotion. What I see, what I experience is dyed the color of my feelings. Take fact and sprinkle it in the Spirit of the Law and it becomes the salt that flavors my life. And what I see, what I experience is enriched with that spice.
Paul once bade the Christ-folk in Rome to be transformed by the renewing of their minds; shunning conformity to the pattern of the world. Paul tells them, tells us--we Brothers & Sisters of them that received his letter--that in so doing, we will be able to test & approve God's good, pleasing, & perfect will.
Transformation is not painless. It pushes out what is no longer needed. The tree senses the days shortening and begins to shed the obsolete. The source of growth trapped in a tree's leaves coupled with cold nights causes the beauty-shades, the ones for which we ooh and aah. Here is a very living example of God's-work-in-nature that Paul spoke of in that self-same letter. Do we not strive to shed what is not needed? Do we not sense the shortening of days? Do biting winds not nip at our very lives? But it is these things that stir a quivering in our hearts, harrowing as the quivering may be, to draw close, immerse ourselves in His spirit and be transformed. And once we do that, like the salve that Christ put to the eyes of a blind man and washed clean, then, oh, then we will see.