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Beautiful Gifts  

As we Midwesterners begin our slow goodbye to summer, we know that six months of all things dark and drab loom ahead.  Our descent into the dreary is eased somewhat by the bombastic colors of the fall trees.

As if to dare the onslaught of fall’s overwhelming brownness, the leaves emerge in irreverent hues: electric orange, sun-soaked lemon, fierce red. 

My favorites are the variegated shades, like the leaf I saw on a neighbor's driveway.  It was small and featured a bright green center crowned with an orange tint that looked as if God was experimenting with Photoshop. 

After taking a quick phone pic, I gently pocketed the leaf, intending to show it to my wife.  I forgot about it until the next day.  Pulling it out of my jacket, I could see that already, the color had faded a bit.  More noticeably, the thing had started to shrivel.

What a metaphor. Try as we might, we cannot pocket beauty.  We cannot keep it in a jar or hang it in a frame. Or seal it from decay—just one more unintended consequence from the fall.

We can enjoy beauty’s magnificence.

We can take snapshots.

We can inhale its fragrance.


But beauty cannot be frozen in time.

We can only enjoy it in time.

So—take the time.


Your wife’s smile.

Your son’s eyes.

Your favorite leaf. 


These are beautiful gifts from a God of beauty who bids us enjoy His creation. 


He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.    —Ecclesiastes 3:11



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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016