Welcome to October and its bright blue weather!
As I’ve mentioned before, fall is my favorite time of year. Frost is soon to be on the pumpkin in Tennessee, trees are teeming with their new fall fashions, and Walmart is selling Christmas decorations!
October also features football, harvest carnivals, hay rides, candy corn, “Trunk or Treat,” colorful chrysanthemums, and pumpkin spice-flavored everything. It’s a month full of festivities!
All these sensory subjects appear before the backdrop of God’s brightest blue skies. In the words of Helen Hunt Jackson, “Ye cannot rival for one hour October’s bright blue weather.”
The puppy dog in Amy Parker’s Night Night, Pumpkin takes note of the wonders of fall as he revels in the October fun:
The cooler winds whistle in;
The leaves all dance and glow;
Fall is making its grand entrance—
Putting on quite the show!
As he dons his pumpkin costume, the puppy enjoys spending time with his family at the corn maze and in the apple orchard. They gather round a campfire as Grandpa tells them stories of God’s creations. They all snuggle together in the hay as they ride through the fields while the rumbling tractor and the mooing cows lull them to sleep.
My family has experienced similar traditions. From hosting hayrides to exploring pumpkin patches, October is a memorable and special time.
For years my family drove to Monteagle Mountain every October to celebrate my nephew’s birthday. We packed a picnic lunch and basked in the beauty as we watched fall make its grand entrance. We always enjoyed the I24 scenic overlook, one of God’s best canvases.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” –Psalm 19:1
The beauty of this new month reminds us of God’s awesome powers of creation, his ability to spread His Light into the world through us.
Liz Curtis Higgs uses the symbol of the pumpkin to remind us of how we can spread that Light to others. In her book The Pumpkin Patch Parable, Higgs describes the birth of a pumpkin from seed to harvest.
October came at last. The sky was bright blue and the air was cooler. Every night it got dark earlier than it did the night before. It was time for the farmer to harvest his pumpkin crop.
Because the farmer has a special plan for his chosen pumpkin, he takes care to wash off the outside dirt and cull away all of the inside pulp and slime. Then the farmer carves a face in the pumpkin, a face with a beautiful smile.
What happened next was wonderful. The farmer put a small, white candle down inside the pumpkin and touched the wick with a flame. How that pumpkin glowed!
This smiling, glowing pumpkin becomes a symbol of God’s plan for us as an important part of His creation.
“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; you know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.”—Psalm 139:13-16 (The Message)
Like the pumpkin in this parable, God casts Light into this dark world. We can see it if we will turn our faces toward Him. He also invites us to accept His Light into our own lives so that we can share it with others.
I invite you on this new October day to recall Harry Dixon Loes’ children’s song “This Little Light of Mine.” Perhaps you learned it in Bible School or saw one of the many YouTube versions.
I encourage you to sing this song in your heart today, or sing it aloud for all to hear. Just sing it! Be like the farmer’s pumpkin, and shine your light!
Our world needs His light and yours to make it a better place.
“God the Father offers his children the chance to be made new, full of joy and full of light, shining like stars in a dark world.” –Liz Curtis Higgs
“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.”—Maya Angelou
“There are two ways of spreading the light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”—Edith Wharton
“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” —Matthew 5:16
“The ripe, the golden month has come again, and in Virginia the chinkapins are falling.”–Thomas Wolfe
Psalm 31:16; Proverbs 15:13; John 1:5; Romans 12:12