by Jean Roesler
As a runner, I eagerly await the day when the cool crisp air of the fall season will replace the hot and humid air of summer. Morning runs bring on a refreshing vigor and an appreciation for the change. My normal running route takes me into a local park that winds its way around a small pond. There are days in this season when it just doesn’t get any prettier: a painted blue sky, a bright sunny day, brilliant colors of red, orange, and yellow, and a still pond that reflects the colors like a mirror. A beautiful picture.
On a recent run to the park on one of those picture perfect mornings, I was treated with an entirely different view. Instead of seeing the trees reflected in the pond, I saw that the entire pond was filled with morning fog created by the cool, crisp air meeting the relatively warm waters of the pond. Slowly the fog was rising as the sun rose in the sky and warmed the air.
The Holy Spirit brought to mind the vision of the fog being the prayers that would be said in a few days by our senior adults at our annual prayer retreat. As the entire pond was covered in fog I was overwhelmed with wonder and joy at the multitude of prayers that would be said. It was as though the pond was an offering bowl and the prayers were like a fragrant offering rising up to our Lord.
On the morning of our prayer retreat as I rounded the corner to the park, I could see that there was only a whiff of fog around the edge of the pond and once again the pond reflected the beautiful colors of the trees. I smiled to myself and thought that the pond was “empty” because the Lord was already answering those prayers that would be said later that day. It was a comforting but as I continued to run, I noticed that there was a deep layer of low-lying fog in the wetlands just on the other side of the running path. What joy as I saw these “prayers of other people” starting to rise up to the Lord as the morning sun began to warm the air. Occasionally along the path I would see the fog cross over from the wetlands and into the “offering bowl” of the pond. As a ran into the not very visible mist there was a drop in temperature, just enough to let me know it was there and I thought of these as prayers for me by friends that I might not even know they are praying for me. What a delight!
Are you seeing the mist rising like a fragrant offering or are you seeing only the fog of the uncertainties and problems of life? Perhaps you need the Son to shine in your life so that the prayers for you might also rise like a fragrant offering.
As I travel out west I notice that it is mostly evergreens. When there is color it is mostly yellow. Makes me appreciate all the more the variety of color we get in the Midwest.