Grasping for Beauty PicEvan aligned Meg under one of our trees and had her look up into it. The yellow leaves turned to red at the top of the tree. Meg told him God must use sunshine to set it on fire. Her smile quickly fell as she watched the leaves drop around her. She came to me crying, upset the beautiful leaves are falling off.
 
Meg knows the trees will grow leaves and green up again. She knows next fall this tree will be just as beautiful, but it still didn’t help the situation.
 
It is hard to explain why beauty falls away and bare, hard, primitiveness remains. It seems like a waste, for something with the potential to be extraordinary, to be so far from it. As it was for Meg and the leaves today, it was with me and life last night. I had been down, tired and feeling helpless; I couldn’t help her and make her breakdowns lessen. Her pain radiated into me as she went to bed telling me how she hoped she could be happy today. It’s felt as though beauty and happiness have fallen out of our lives, leaving us in the primitiveness of survival.
 
It makes me want to super glue those fallen leaves back to the tree for her. To be able to promise tomorrow will be happy and enjoyable. To feel excitement for tomorrow as we fall to sleep, rather than the heavy weight of endurance. I want to find a way to grasp onto any last piece of beauty, and not face what’s left when it’s gone.
 
But leaves fall, happiness fades, and all the grasping can’t keep life from coming undone. It’s always a matter of time.
 
As sorrow hung on me, the rich man in the bible came to mind. The one who walked away because he couldn’t give up what he had to follow Jesus. Jesus said it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than a rich man to enter into heaven.
 
Well Jesus, you made this one easy for me. It’s not hard giving up everything I don’t have.
 
But then I realized, it is.
 
I want my family to be healthy, happy, and thriving. I want life to be easier. I want Meg’s head fixed and my body to be how it was before the car accident. I want money in the bank and retirement accounts. There is so much I want, that I’m not giving up. I keep going to Jesus laying them at His feet…and nudging Him because He’s not doing anything about them.
 
It is harder to give up what I don't have, than I ever thought it could be.
 
Today the leaves still fell, Meg cried over and over, and it wasn’t a happy day. At the end of it Meg was crying in my arms and Evan put his arms around us, and we all cried. It hurts when there’s nothing you can do to make things better.
 
As the tears flowed, another verse came to mind, “blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
 
Now there’s a beauty worth grasping and holding onto.

Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. "There is still one thing you haven't done," he told him. "Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." At this the man's face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.     Mark 10:21-22