When Death is Beautiful

A model for Christians from the season of autumn

  • by Erik Segalini

Morbid as it may seem, autumn really is about death. And here's an even bigger surprise: God repeats this pattern of a beautiful death in you and in me.

Walking through the woods of New Hampshire in autumn is like swimming in color. Above and below, yellow and orange and red and brown all mix together like a child's painting.

Happy, thoughtful and free.

Morbid as it may seem, autumn really is about death: Summer ceases, and while winter waits, the foliage of each tree begins to die and fall to the ground. They leave their greens -- an otherwise respectable uniform within the forest -- for a lavish fashion show where each tree seems to try and outdo the other.

I have loved this finale, this spectacle. But I'm awed that it is actually the leaf's death, the draining of a life-giving pigment called chlorophyll, that helps to create the brilliant palette.

Nature's beautiful death.

God repeats this pattern in you and me. Jesus calls His followers to the beautiful death every day.

In Luke 9:23, we read this about Jesus: "Then He said to them all: 'If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.'"

Jesus commands us to take up our cross daily and die to ourselves, or like the leaf, to allow Him to drain our chlorophyll - our will, our plans, our mirage of control.

The result? That He might be seen instead.

Surrendered, hard as that may be, we become God's canvas. We become a reflection of the Artist.