Looking out the windows over the valley below, my eyes are drawn every fall to the circle. The light green of the aspen has turned to the color of spun gold. On the mountainside beyond the town lies a copse of trees forming a circle of gold with green ponderosa pine in the center, like a golden ring on the mountainside. It always turns gold before the rest of the aspen. When the circle is complete is when I love to drive to the surrounding towns and admire God's painting of the world.
Driving through the Rockies in the fall never fails to take my breath away. The various shades of yellow and gold ripple across the mountainsides; running up and down the steep gorges, outlining the green of the pines. The lines connect and intersect in such a manner that it almost looks as if a hand-sewn quilt covers the land with bands of gold connecting the patches of green.
Gazing at the view of God's work reveals small touches of other colors, a thin line of red or orange here and there, but the land is primarily green, yellow, and gold. Tracing the lines with my eye, breathing deeply of the cool, crisp air, I know this is the time of peace to prepare as winter is coming to the high mountains.
Driving to lower elevations extends the season of God's painting. Red, orange, and other colors begin to make their way into the painting. Gold gives way to orange, brilliant red, tinges of pink, with darker shades of brown accents. The tones; the array of colors and shades never cease to amaze and thrill me.
I imagine God with a paint palette, loaded with color, mixing every hue, every shade and lovingly painting creation. Each leaf is a unique picture of God's creativity and love. When viewed from God's perspective the world must be a beautiful place--a canvas of indescribable beauty.
Perhaps that is why God also created humanity in such a variety of colors. Flesh tones of every shade and hue from the deepest ebony to the palest ivory. Pale tones, dark tones, tinges of pink, cream, and touches of yellow fill our world with an endless array of God's creation . . . God's image.
Perhaps fall is also the time of peace for humanity. A time when humanity can admire and appreciate the colors of God's image and recognize that we all, red, yellow, black, white, and every shade in between are God's painting--and God said, it is good.
As we see your awesome work in nature and admire your paint palette, may we also recognize ourselves as God's Painting. May we recognize our commonalities and put aside our differences to breathe deeply, put squabbles aside, and rest in the beauty of being God's masterpiece. So be it. Amen.