The tops and corners of the trees where the sun’s gaze lingered longest turned crimson and trembled in the breeze. My five year old and I walked hand in hand down the pebbled path into the woods, our shadows stretching long against the browning cattails beside us. He scampered on ahead then, whacking branches with his grey stick. I pursued him down the path, keeping him in sight, protective even in the calm woods.
“When you want, we can fight bad guys,” he offered graciously, thinking of imaginary sword battles. I thanked him and we broke off the path into a wooded clearing of downed trees. Green moss crept across darkening logs that sank imperceptibly into the ground.
Finding a flat perch several feet off the ground with a branch backrest, I sat back, breathed in the clean earthy scent, and swung my feet. Daniel clambered over dead branches and hacked hollow at old logs, and I felt peace settle over me. An October blue sky peeped from behind the leafy canopy overhead, aspens and maples rustled all around us, and the sun poured golden puddles onto crisp brown leaves. My eyes found silent beauty everywhere and I named them aloud, thanking God.
Coming off a four-day women’s retreat at Camp Lebanon, filled with innumerable opportunities to meet, get to know, worship with and pray with women from across Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and North Dakota, I have been seeing God’s hand all weekend. Speaking alongside Cynthia Ruchti, Kristen Spielman,Sarah Lein, and Jean Erbst, we dug into God’s word and encouraged each other to see God’s grace that chases –pursues– every one of us.
After a weekend of worship and wonderful women, I arrived home Sunday, counting God’s gifts and eager to see family. My family and I’ve cuddled, hugged, and lingered long these past days, soaking up time together before this next weekend’s second retreat. (Pray for this weekend, will you? Join us in praying God’s blessings on this new group of women and for us presenters that God would speak through us, for his glory.)
And our God–your loving Creator? He walks the pebbled path with you, pursuing you, chasing after you with his goodness and love every day, alert even in the seeming calm of the woods.