David Nelson column

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 17, 2007

There’s a beautiful song that I like called the “September Song.” Maybe you’re familiar with it, too, because it is so appropriate this time of the year.
The theme of the song centers on the fact that “the days grow short when you reach September.” Although the obvious reference is to the season of fall, the implication, as I see it, is to life itself.
“The days dwindle down to a precious few when you reach September.”
But the song doesn’t end there. It focuses on the fact that “September days” are golden and precious ones, because “I spend them with you.” Too often we discount the value of our presence in the lives of others, especially those who are in the “September days” of their lives. We easily feel that our presence really doesn’t make much difference because there may not be an awful lot for us to do or even say together.
The opposite, however, is true. Just being there, your presence, if you will, is what makes those dwindling days of life so rich to the one who is experiencing them. In a sense, they can’t help but join in proclaiming, “these are the golden days, the precious few, I spend with you.”
Thank God that his divine presence in our lives never dwindles down, whether it be the springtime of our existence or the summer, fall or winter of life.
The writer of Lamentations (Chapter 3: 22-24) puts it this way: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness … therefore I will hope in him.” God’s presence is ultimately what makes our autumn days and every day for that matter, a precious and abundant gift.
Our being present for one another does matter. It is the way we can reflect God’s presence and love through us. At the same time, it gives us cause to celebrate our existence, whether it is our “September” or not.
The Rev. Dr. David P. Nelson is a retired Lutheran minister