We’ve come to that point in the season where the trees are now nearly bare. Their leaves have gone, their colors have faded, and their jagged branches point and twist in a seeming melancholy sorrow.
It’s a gradual turn from radiant glory to silent sticks with these trees that greet me every morning. Or is it? Perhaps it happened overnight while I wasn’t paying close enough attention, and I was too distracted to notice.
One morning this week I was in awe of how beautiful one particular tree was. There was nothing remarkable about it. Its bark was blanched and rough, its barren branches poked its neighbors, and there was not a single leaf to show its unique colors.
But it was beautiful and radiant. It was illuminated from behind.
The sun shone so brightly on this tree, forcing it into the forefront so that every detail of its knotty trunk, every intricacy of its intertwined branches stood out for the world to see.
And it was beautiful.
On this Thanksgiving, when we so carefully count our blessings, I will say a special prayer of thanks for those who illuminate me from behind. Those who see beauty, grace, and strength in me when I do not; those who push me to be a better person by their guiding, shining examples.
I am grateful for those who light me along the way. And I am blessed to have opportunities to shine light on others.
Either way, I am thankful for the light today.