The tree outside my window is changing. It’s an Autumn Purple Ash, and the leaves turn from summer’s green to yellow, to red, and then to a dark ashy purple before they fall to the ground. At the moment, it’s red on the outer branches with yellow underneath, highlighted with a few green leaves remaining unchanged.
I believe the leaves are representative of our lives. We enter the world green and untested; pure and innocent. Chilly nights cause the green to lighten to yellow as our individual personalities take shape, and then to red as the harsh realities of experience deepen our character. Finally the red evolves to a deep purple before strong winds send our bodies to the earth and our souls to their final destination.
Every leaf is designed to go through the process, and each stage is beautiful to God. He sees where we’ve been and where we’re headed, all in the exquisite colors of our lives. The red of our knowledge rests next to the stubborn green of our refusal to change.
He loves each phase, because added together they make up who we are. Without our experiences of joy and pain we would be colorless, lifeless even. Every encounter we have influences us in a different way, shaping the tree that is us.