"The Beautiful Heart"
No physical beauty surpasses the colors and hues of autumn. Our dear Orange Moon friend Randy Reed, pastor and photographer, illustrates this truth by a glorious scene he viewed and photographed in his homeland of Michigan.
God paints His foliage with the sublime during the fall, gracing dying leaves with pigments of His imagination and application that no other artist can possibly duplicate. Several years ago, Frances and I hiked in the mountains of North Carolina during the peak of seasonal color. To this day, I can find no words to describe the wonder we witnessed as every bend of the trail ushered us into increasingly vivid vistas that filled and thrilled our hearts. I recall thinking on so many occasions during that hike, "Well, Lord, I don't see how You can top this." But He could, and He did, the memory of which gives me yet another opportunity to bow head and heart in gratitude for the mountain gallery through which we walked in wonder.
How interesting that dying leaves and foliage present such beauty to our hearts. There can be only one reason. Indeed, the beautiful death we see in autumn speaks to us of the most beautiful display of God's heart that will ever occur in either time or eternity. "Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Amid the horror, shame, crime, agony, forsakenness, death, and ugliness of Mount Calvary, God opened to us the holy gallery that unveils who He most deeply is. The cross displays a love, along with its expressions of grace and mercy, that sings to us of a Heart more beautiful than a trillion eternities would allow us to fully discover. The Lord Jesus suffered and died for His enemies (Romans 5:10). His precious blood flowed from wounds that all of our sins carved upon His blessed frame. He bore the loneliness and forsakenness that should have enshrouded our hearts. The Prince of life died, an aberration that should not have been possible, but which became actual as God the Father smote His beloved Son for our sakes. Every leaf of autumn, graced with hues only God could imagine, mix, and splash upon the canvas of creation, speaks to us of Calvary and the beautiful Heart pierced so that the prayer of the Old Testament might be answered by the grace of the New…
"And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us."
Weekly Memory Verse
One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple" (Psalm 27:4)