Beauty Before Death

This post is a part of my 10-Minute Tuesday series. I write for 10 minutes on a one-word prompt without heavy editing and see what happens. Today’s prompt is “Autumn.”

It inevitably happens. Every September and October beautiful photos start popping up on Instagram and Facebook of gorgeous, fiery trees. People oooh and ahhh about the spectacular colors.

Preston Hughes parkwayI live in Florida, so we don’t really get that here. And I grew up in California’s Bay Area, and I never really got that there either. So I’m not missing what I never knew. But the pictures are lovely.

Funny thing about Autumn: the colors are at their peak when the leaves are about to die and drop for the winter. Beauty before death.

Huh.

I don’t know quite what to make of that. I have heard that the cold and snow is necessary in order for new growth to happen underground. The snow insulates the ground and new life happens underneath. But seeing beauty in dying? That’s a really foreign concept.

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I haven’t been in a position of being with someone as they took their last breath, but I have been there for a couple of beloved pets. In fact, just within the last couple of months I held my sweet little parakeet as he breathed his last. The tears were streaming down my cheeks. I really didn’t see anything beautiful there. I only felt pain.

So this is what I see now: It is in the letting go, in the dying, in the giving up and the killing off of anything that takes my focus away from God that resurrection happens. You see, in order for resurrection to happen, death has to occur. If I want to live a new life, I have to be willing to let the old things go.

Watching someone you love pass on from this life is not easy, but there are many times in which we see this as a mercy because they are suffering here on this earth. We know they will have new life if they are in Christ, and so we assure them that they can go in peace.

I remember talking to my mom on the phone in the last minutes of her life. My siblings were with her and they held the phone to her ear. All I could hear was her heavy, last stage breathing as the cancer took her away. Through my tears I told her not to wait for me. I wasn’t going to get there in time. She could go on without me.

She left just a short while later.

But that death had to occur in order for new life to begin. Those leaves in Autumn have to fall in order for the new growth to come in the Spring.

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