I love these early fall days when just a sweater will do.
Today’s full on Indian Summer, warm and welcoming. Toes peek from sandals, enjoying flexibility and fresh air for another day or two, knowing too soon they’ll be sheathed in socks for the long haul, when bone-chilling air swoops down from the north.
No color to speak of, still leaves take leave of branches, as if on cue, dancing around like children unleashed at recess. Mums and pumpkins decorate porches and yards, adding color for a price. Too soon we’ll reach to the back of closets for winter coats, swap sandals for sturdy shoes, hunt thick socks to distance the chill.
Perhaps it’s because winter takes a liking to New England and lingers, wearing out more than its welcome. Which is probably why I felt a chill of connection when reading Paul’s letter to Timothy this week.
Paul’s in prison in Rome, near the end of his life when he writes to Timothy. “Bring the winter coat…” (II Timothy 4 in The Message)
Even for saints, like Paul.
Maybe, especially so.
Not because they did wrong, but Good.
Paul’s heartfelt plea reaches to any who find themselves locked into a nor’easter of the soul, no matter the date on the calendar.
“Try hard to get here before winter.”(II Timothy 4 The Message)
We need both warm cloaks and the company of others.
To all who mourn, weep beside fresh graves, pace hospital corridors, feel useless or stuck in place without answers or hope, may God, who knows all, tap a Timothy to “come before winter” with the winter coat for warmth and the company for courage to carry on.
Sometimes we’re the pleaders.
Sometimes we’re the provisions.
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