“He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy” (Acts 14:17).

In the dark of September’s final night, orange gourds tumbled into town. They took over church yards and street corners. Some seem to have erupted from library shelves. Crafty mothers perched scarecrows atop the heaps to hold the restless autumn guests in place. As soon as October’s breeze turned the calendar page, pumpkins invaded.

Unlike zombies or killer tomatoes, pumpkins do not swarm our streets to butcher and eat us. These seasonal legends swamp our neighborhoods so we may gobble them. The bumper crop lays itself out before us to provide comfort food, vitamins, and a unique art medium.

Of autumn’s many delights, pumpkins rank among my favorites. I cherish the weeks its flavor graces my beloved latte. Freshly roasted seeds, pie-kissed muffins, and gourd-skin canvases owe their blessings to this symbol of harvest time.

Though my lifestyle buzzes a world away from the farming culture of my roots, the pumpkins remind me how its beautiful rhythm culminates in provision. Enrichment, tilling, and sowing represent partnership with God in His work. Those dependent upon the land face their inability to work alone. They cannot wrangle success from the heavens. God alone provides rain and sunlight to produce healthy crops.

Our spiritual harvest occurs when God blesses the love and kindness we helped Him plant into the acreage He outlined. Our world of love-influence might shrink or grow in size from one year to the next, but the quality of its fruit remains the vital test of a successful harvest. So much grows when we enrich hearts, till minds, and sow spirits with God’s blessings–around and within us.

At spiritual October, I believe we can reap intimacy with the Lord. His presence satisfies me more than a fresh-roasted tray of pumpkin seeds. His embrace lifts my spirit higher than an eight layer tea cake. Will you join me this harvest season for a latte of divine joy?