Just three months ago, the big snow had drifted the back door of the parsonage shut. Our front sidewalk was buried under a four-foot drift of snow. We worked from about 8:00 am until about 1:00 pm to uncover the parsonage driveway, and clear Blust Lane. By the first day of Spring, all that snow was gone. The daffodils were up, and so were the groundhogs. The deer were moving about, but the pheasant had disappeared.
I had seen the pheasant, a ringneck, a few days after the big snow. The wind had cleared an area under a tree, and the pheasant was foraging there. Thirty years had passed since I had last spotted a pheasant in the wild, so I stopped to watch it. Eventually, it crossed Mt. Zion Drive to shelter and forage under another evergreen. I snapped a picture, watched a few minutes more, and went my way amazed and encouraged. In the dead of winter, a new season was starting to happen.
But, that was then. These days, the dandelions are growing. The trees have leaves. Grass is overgrowing the trails left by a vole under the snowpack. A few weeks more, and lilacs will bloom, the smell of honeysuckle will fill the air, and the lightning bugs will shine in a warm summer’s night.
Life works that way.
Other times, not so much.
Good Friday into Easter reminds us that it takes a death to make a resurrection. An ark built by Noah reminds us that it takes a rainstorm to make a rainbow. Joseph sold into an Egyptian slavery reminds us that no envy or greed can keep God from providing the world its daily bread. When life works the worst of ways, I find myself remembering a the words of this hymn written by Colin Gibson:
“Nothing is lost on the breath of God, nothing is lost for ever; God's breath is love, and that love will remain, holding the world for ever.
No feather too light, no hair too fine, no flower too brief in its glory; no drop in the ocean, no dust in the air, but is counted and told in God's story.”
This month will take us all many places: Some of us will go to graduations; others will move to a new job in a new town. Some of us will travel to be with family around a table for dinners and picnics; others will grace a cemetery to honor the dead. Some of us will applaud a recital or cheer a ball game; others will simply remember when.
Life works that way.
In it all, God is good.