I drove my daughter to school early this morning in the glow of that special light that comes only during the Fall season. The vehicle ahead of us stirred up a dance of yellow leaves and many more were falling from the trees as we passed under them. I marveled at the contrast of what bears the ugliness of death yet is so beautiful.
And I stand in awe as I think of one of the primary laws of science – matter cannot be created nor destroyed but only transformed. Those falling leaves will add to the nourishment of the land and allow new growth in the spring. No-one in the modern world would dispute that scientific fact. This is, as all others are, not just a law of science but it is God’s law – our bodies will shrivel and die just as the leaves of fall do, but we will not die. Our spirit will live on, either in glory with our Father in heaven, or in torment with his nemesis in hell.
Unlike the universal willingness to believe the physical scientific laws of matter and energy, there are a lot of people who refuse to believe God’s law. They don’t want to think about hell and they can’t seem to grasp the idea of heaven. Perhaps the reason for their doubt is the fact that both heaven and hell are unseen. We can watch the leaves fall and rake them into a pile that we know will turn to compost. That compost will feed the vegetables in our gardens which in turn nourishes us. We see evidence of the scientific laws around us all the time. But the laws of heaven require faith.
Many who spoke with Jesus and listened to His teaching refused to believe He was the Son of God. Indeed, even some of his disciples had a hard time believing, even when He rose from the dead and stood before them. Thomas has become infamous for his doubt. He was a tactile learner. So Jesus said, “touch me.” When Thomas did, his response was, “My Lord and My God.” Jesus replied – “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:26-29).
In that last verse, Jesus is talking about the many men and women of his day who would only hear about his resurrection, yet would believe. He is also talking about us. None of us have seen Jesus in physical form on this earth. Yet, like those laws of matter and energy, we have seen the evidence of His existence.
Life without faith is like watching leaves fall and seeing only death. When we recognize the beauty, our lives are enriched, our hearts encouraged. We see there is pattern and purpose and it gives us hope. Faith, the gift of God, is indeed a blessing. God calls many of us to it every day. All we have to do is yield to His calling, open our eyes and see.
Then we will understand that the dance of death is also a beautiful dance of falling leaves.