The coming of spring is almost the very moment as I write you - on Wednesday, March 20, at 4:45 pm. We used to sing at Easter time: "Spring! Spring! Spring burst today. Alleluia."
From our apartment window I can see grass, and - the tiniest buds on the linden tree just beyond our balcony. Everybody's talking about the warming temperatures.
The earth turns, and we turn - to small things. To tiny birds singing lustily, unseen, on branches that have just doffed their snow; and as yet have only the buds that have not yet brought leaves. We look at small blades of grass, already turning from brown to green. We look at little signs of something wonderful coming.
We're ready for warmer winds, for waving daffodils, for Easter's lilies. We're ready to walk, to cross puddles, to marvel at what actually happens as the earth turns into its most welcomed, and loveliest, season.
Joy comes more easily to our hearts that were so snowbound, and cold. I follow a Lenten journey that comes from New Hampshire - the work of an environmentalist par excellence, who for 20 years has fought to preserve the waters that she fights to preserve for us all: the great Ossipee acquifers, the Bearcamp and Pine that flow into Lake Ossipee, and Ossipee's own river - the "channel" as it's called running out of the lake, soon to converge with the Saco, coming down from the north, both heading to the sea.
My friend, who heads the Green Mountain Conservation Group, is an artist, with camera and paintbrush. She tracks the winter moonlight shining down on forest snow paths. She brings poetry to the pictures. And scripture. And her own thoughtful reflections. I get printed copies of pictures and thoughts. They all move the heart. They bless me, and help me walk through the strange season of changes from winter to spring, from sadness to hope. And most of all, to the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Her reflection has help so much in this year that has seemed so chaotic, so angry, so unkind, so full of "gotcha" politics - and so, of hurt, and withdrawal, and darkness, and defeat.
Blair bears the gospel in her own attentive riverside and mountain trail way. Her following is quite large. Her blessing is so wide, not to be contained.
She offers something very different. Something thoughtful and loving. A song, just when so many of us have given up singing. Praise God for her. She reminds us of the good God. Of His redeeming power. Of His infinite love. She's on the restoring side.
St. Paul says, "Whatever things are good and lovely, think on them." Don't dwell on the dark. So, in this season of light and hope, I rejoice to think of the sun, and sky, and birds, and grass. And, of Jesus, out on the trail, stopping before the likes of me, and in His compelling way, saying, "COME. FOLLOW ME. I will change your life." I'm ready, and I rise to go.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES