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Savoring My Passage - the monthly journal of A. C. Gray

October 2010
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Autumn leaves

Fall Colors

October comes and one walks with autumn in the city park, along the suburban street, beside the country road and in every woodland.  For October is the time of the falling leaf, the ripened nut, the earthy browns, the vivid yellows and sere tans, by aster-purples and the sumac-reds, the transformed leftovers of summer shade, bringing the brilliance of autumn down to earth around us…October…is achievement.  And now nature’s urgencies are past.  This is the time of ripeness, of wholeness, of plenty….I could go out in the upper pasture and sit for an hour, and I would be in the very midst of the bounty, the beauty, the wholeness that makes the year complete without cutting it off from yesterday or tomorrow.  All I would have to do would be to lift my face to the sky, that incredibly blue sky of a perfect October day, and open the pores of my understanding.  The maples are like sunrise, and the oaks are like a stormy sky at dusk, and the ash trees that line the lower fencerow are almost as blue as the sky itself.  The pasture grasses are still green, but the thistle heads are being ragged out into glistening clouds by the goldfinches.  The squirrels have harvested the hickory nuts and the butternuts, leaving heaps of hulls of evidence of the plenty.  The chipmunks have their granaries stocked and sit in the sun, even as I do, contemplating this marvelous world, the world of wealth in which to share.  The crows proclaim their sovereignty, now that the flickers and kingbirds are gone, and the jays scream dissent at a distant.  And overhead is, or soon will be, the gabble of geese.  I could stay, but the geese and my heart say go.  Go, and see the truth of October, know the enduring reality of this land I love.  Hal Borland in an essay, “A Song for October”.

 

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Writing these journal pages goes back a long way.  My peripatetic earlier life had me on the move most of the time.  So I wanted a way to stay in touch with special people who had enriched my life with friendship.  All along my journey was expanding with new experiences and new worlds.  I needed a way to document my travels and at the same time a way to share with others the new life I was discovering.  That new life was widening with new perspectives as I circled the globe in my work, but also with exposure to new ideas, the classics, history and so much else in the books I chose to read.  More than anything else, my studies to prepare myself to lead Bible studies enriched my understanding of why we as Christians are commanded to go and tell the Good News.  I wanted every journal page to say what John had written:  God is love. I had a story to tell.  Just recently, reading a newly published book of poetry by David Black, The Clown in the Tent, I read this line:  “…”then call it a good story, a poem, a myth, deep and true – call it gospel, if you will, for it’s new gospel we write each time we testify.” To that I can say Amen!

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It is true that He bore my sins and yours in His own body on the tree.  It is true that death could not hold Him, and that He was resurrected by the power of God.  It is true that He is alive and out on all the roads of the world today, mighty to save.  …It is true that He can take our lives and interpenetrate them with His own, to enable us to say, “I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me.”  It is true that one day we are going to see Him face to face without any veil at all…And then?  Why then, what does it matter whether life be long or short?  If it is to be a long day’s strenuous march, what joy, O Christ, to have Thy blessed companionship all the way!  James S. Stewart, The Challenge of His Coming

                              

In my darkness Jesus found me,
Touched my eyes and made me see
Broke sin’s chains which long had bound me
Gave me life and liberty

O amazing truth to ponder
He Whom angel hosts attend
Lord of heaven God’s Son what wonder!
He became the sinner’s Friend

O glorious love of Christ my Lord divine
That made Him stoop to save a soul like mine
Through all my days and then in heaven above
My song will silence never, I’ll worship Him forever
And praise Him for His glorious love.

                            John W. Peterson