Flowers In The Snow
When we lived in Chicago some years ago, there was a break in the weather at the end of Winter. The sun came out for several days in a row, and the ground began to warm. Flowers began to bloom, Spring was in the air.
And then it turned cold again, and the snow fell in heaps.
As we were walking in to church one Lenten Sunday morning, I saw a whole bed of flowers peeking through the snow. The warmth of those glorious days of sun fooled them into thinking that the long, cold winter was over, but it wasn't quite finished.
Still, they pushed through the cold, white blanket of snow, piercing it with bright color and stubborn life.
Lent is full of these moments. This journey to the Cross with Jesus that you and I are on together has it's share of triumphant days when it feels as though the darkness is going to come to end, and that sin and brokenness have been completely overcome.
But then the cold winds begin to blow once again, the skies turn grey and we are reminded anew that there are miles to go before Easter. Even though we know that Resurrection is ahead of us, we can't help but wonder if it's ever going to get here.
For me, those icy moments come when I am suddenly overwhelmed by my own frailty, by the harsh words I've uttered, the angry tirade at my children, the mistakes I've made or the people I wound by things done and left undone.
And sometimes they come to me when I see the world as it is in all of it's shattered imperfection. When I see all of the hatred, anger, violence and division all around me, it feels like Winter is never going to end, that the ground is never going to yield new life.
There are wounds in the world that I will not be able to heal today. There are broken places in my own heart and spirit that won't be mended, either.
But as I walk along this Lenten path, I see bursts of color breaking through the dark, frost covered ground---moments of kindness, goodness, beauty and grace. These signs of the Resurrection give me hope that "Sunday's comin'," and that frigid darkness of Winter is coming to an end.
May you walk your own Lenten path looking for those stubborn signs of life today and every day during this blessed season. May you be filled with hope and joy as you realize that God is still in the resurrection business.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.