She walked briskly along the path, unsure of what had brought her there this morning after so many months. Yet, she had known when she left the house this morning, and had left a note on the counter saying where she was. Several attacks on women along this path had her feeling a little unsure, yet confident in God's protection and the company of her large dog. The sun was shining brightly, illuminating the fall leaves on the trees and enveloping her in colour. The dog walked ahead of her, pulling on the leash.
She hummed as she walked, and then began singing. Once in awhile someone would pass her, and she stopped singing until they were just out of earshot. A song from the CD in her car inspired her, and that song led to several others, some from her childhood. She sang and felt the sun on her face, the fresh air in her lungs, and an overall feeling of well-being. And she thought to herself, "You are here God".
Taking in the details of the trees around her, she began to admire the contrasting colours of the leaves more closely. And as she turned back to retrace her steps to the car, she stopped to pick a red leaf off a shrub. Then she reached down to pick up a yellow leaf from the ground, then another and another. There were so many pretty leaves to choose from and before long she had a leaf bouquet in her gloved hand.
It was then that she noticed the shape of the leaf; a heart shape. And, at that very moment, God chose to speak into her heart;
"I love you. I love you. I am here and I love you."
She stood still, looking at all the leaves. The heart-shaped leaves were everywhere, some still hanging from the trees above her, while others created a beautiful carpet under her feet. She smiled. It was simple and profound and personal, and she wanted to share it with her friends.
She collected more leaves and continued to walk, admiring the trees full of hearts and considering the depth of God's love for her. She realized now that the trees were poplars... fast growing weedy trees that, by some, were considered to be 'garbage trees'. Not highly valued, poplar trees were often planted first and then cut down when they were no longer needed. And God chose those trees to display his love to her. Not the mighty oak or the stately maple, but the humble, overlooked and often disposable poplar.
Armed with her leaves and God's message of love, she drove home.
Lesley-Anne writes to share hope, encouragment and small graces with those God puts in her path.