All around us here, leaves on the trees are turning an amazing array of reds, oranges and yellows. The funny thing is, as I understand it, there is no practical purpose for the color change from green.
Green leaves are the result of chlorophyll, a green pigment that absorbs red and blue light from the sun. In the fall, however, shorter days and cooler nights interrupt the natural process of chlorophyll being manufactured and replaced as it decomposes. Hence the different colors as chlorophyll breaks down and is not reintroduced into the leaves.
Scientists apparently have not discovered any useful reasons for the specific colors. They are a delight to observe, certainly. In many parts of the country, our eyes can feast on a smorgasbord of color – until rain and wind detach the leaves from their limbs and they tumble to the ground.
The same can be said about breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. The vivid reds and other hues appear briefly, greeting us in the morning and bidding us a good evening, but aside from the visual sensation, we are none the better or worse for them.
Why then do we have this ever-changing palette of nature, revealing itself to us from day to day? I think it’s a gift from God, a manifestation of His love – much like a bouquet of flowers from a husband who is not making amends for a wrong, or a parent buying a toy or a treat for a child, for the simple reason of “just because.” They are the Lord’s subtle way of saying to His children, “I love you – and don’t forget.”
“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give…to those who ask him?” (Luke11:13).