fixed point

(This post first appeared on my personal blog,

At the beginning of this week, the trees along my running routes boasted the most brilliant colors I’ve seen all season. The final bursts of reds, oranges, yellows, and a few greens seemed an otherworldly neon which seemed to grow brighter each day. Thursday, while playing outside with my kids post-run, I took pictures of the trees surrounding my house, wondering what brilliance the next day might hold. But on Saturday, my long run day this week, the view held only a few straggling leaves in brown or a muted burnt orange. Although I didn’t know it at the time, Thursday was the climax of color: the fixed point in time at which the leaves started to fade.

On Saturday, March 14th, my husband and I enjoyed a wonderful night out (our first real night out since our youngest daughter’s birth). Our school auction was 1920s themed with flapper-style dresses, fun décor, and plenty of laughter. We knew the world was changing, some countries had stay-at-home orders in effect, and the whispers of a quarantined America were growing louder. But while the big band music played in the background, how many of us knew for sure that it was the last time we’d see our friends noses and mouths not through a screen? The last time we’d gather in a large group, or the last time we’d talk with someone without calculating just how far apart we were standing? Where were you the night before? What’s your fixed point in time?

Today, our pastor’s sermon centered on the coming of the kingdom of heaven in Matthew 25, and these words stood out to me:

Therefore, keep watch, for you do not know the day or the hour.

Matthew 25:13

One day, we will be on the other side. The timing will be made clear, and we’ll recognize all the signs leading up to Christ’s glorious return. We’ll have seen the colors in all their brilliance. But, just as the final days before our world’s turned upside down in a pandemic, or the ever-growing-brighter leaves, we won’t know it until it comes.

My oldest swinging amidst the brilliant colors.