Authors Harriet E. Michael and Shirley Crowder are so generous in sharing their wisdom over the next couple of weeks. CLICK HERE TO GET ALL OF THEIR DEVOTIONS THROUGH NOVEMBER 6!
Here’s their first installment.
Read: Psalm 74:13-17
The day is yours, and yours also the night; you established the sun and moon. It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.
Psalm 74:16-17 (NIV)
Autumn was once an enigma to me. As a little girl growing up beneath the hot tropical sun, I had no memory of autumn. Oh, I had experienced it when my parents were in America on furlough but I was too young to really remember what it was like. And furlough, when you are only five years old, is a year of so many new things, that it is hard to process and remember.
But nonetheless, even in tropical Nigeria, I learned to love the autumn season. Why did I love it as a child when I had not experienced it? Where did I get my love for this season of cooler weather, colorful scenery, scurrying squirrels, crunchy leaves, and frosty mornings? I think the credit goes to a missionary aunt who taught both Shirley and me in school–our Aunt Lil Wasson.
Because she had a teaching degree and several children of her own in need of an education, Aunt Lil bravely took on the job of elementary school teacher to all the missionary kids on the Ogbomoso compound. Ogbomoso, the Nigerian town where we lived, had both a hospital and seminary with about a half a dozen missionary families working in each. All together these missionaries had at least a dozen or more elementary-age children depending on who was on furlough in any given year. Aunt Lil taught all of us in her garage which had been made into a one-room schoolhouse. She taught every child in grades kindergarten through the fourth grade in one room. She was a brave woman, indeed.
Aunt Lil loved autumn. She grew up in Arkansas where trees are abundant, and autumns are glorious. Of course, Nigeria had only two seasons–rainy and dry. Half the year it rained some every day and the other half it did not rain at all. America’s autumn months fall right at the end of the rainy season in Nigeria.
Yet, Aunt Lil always decorated her schoolroom with pictures representative of autumn in America and had her American citizen students learn about their homeland. I can still remember sitting in her garage classroom looking at the decorations all around me–bright orange pumpkins, brown squirrels with nuts in their mouths, and trees with red, orange, and yellow leaves.
She had one large poster-size picture of Jack Frost painting a leaf with an artist palette of fall colors which always intrigued me. One hand was under the palette and the other held a paintbrush. Of course, we all knew Jack Frost was not real, but my imagination went wild just the same with thoughts of a magical place where the world turned bright with colors, where shiny, frosty crystals formed on the ground, and a little elf painted the leaves when children were not looking.
I think of Aunt Lil every fall. I thank God for her enthusiasm over the world He made, both tropical and temperate. And I realize how everything people do can have a lasting ripple effect on those around them.
Prayer: Gracious Heavenly Father, creator of this vast and beautiful world, thank You for the exquisite beauty that surrounds us whether we experience colorful autumn foliage or lovely tropical blooms. Make us mindful that our lives affect others in so many ways. May we impact them for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thought for the Day: Others are watching you!
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