Where are your crocuses?

Remember not the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
Isaiah 43:18-19

Every morning I drive past a park. The steep, green banks and overhanging trees kissed by mist and sunlight are my only glimpses of beauty on work days otherwise filled by a concrete landscape. I love it especially in early Spring, when the crocuses begin to appear. Small gems of white, purple and gold peek up hopefully through the grass, a reminder that a new season is coming.

As I looked at the flowers recently, a still, small voice whispered:

Where are your crocuses?

Where are the small signs of hope? Where are the tiny jewels of colour emerging from the monotonous background of the previous season? Where are the beginnings of new life?

Winter can be such a painful season. Everything seems still, silent, dead. But buried deep in the darkness, something miraculous is happening. When the sun begins to warm the earth again, the growth that has been taking place begins to show itself, struggling up through the soil. I have found crocuses in the park, but also in conversations with a friend, in phrases that jump out at me from a book, in song lyrics or in unexpected kindness.

We keep looking for them, our crocuses, because though they are small, they are significant, offering moments of hope that tell us winter does not last for ever. A change of season is on its way.

5476231490_b16c986599_bCreative Commons Crocus by Amanda Slater is licensed under CC by 2.0

 

How to live through Easter Saturday

At the end of the Good Friday service, we sang,

One final breath he gave
As heaven looked away
The son of God was laid in darkness…

An unresolved chord hung in the air as the band stopped playing and the image of a heart monitor appeared on the screen. It beeped twice, then made one continuous sound as it flat-lined. The lights went out and people sat in the dark before leaving the building in silence. My friend and I walked back to the car without talking, wanting to linger in the mystery of the moment.

As the church, we faithfully retell our stories because they remind us of our family history.  As we let them work in us, they reshape and reform us. They beckon us to join in and to see things from a different perspective. Our stories make room for us and show us that another way of being in the world is possible.

On Good Friday, what we recall is that all is not as it should be. The reality of death hits home. We identify with the pain of grief and rejection and destroyed hopes. We think of all the things that weren’t supposed to be like this. Good Friday is our opportunity to sit in the shadow of the cross with our broken dreams and unanswered questions.

Of course, the church will celebrate the resurrection on Easter Sunday, and rightly so, as it is the grand finale of the story. But many people, including me, will still be living with the tension of loss, heartache and confusion come Sunday. Three days will not have resolved all our issues, just at the previous three months, or three years have not either.

So we continue to wait in the darkness. We live in our Easter Saturday season when all is dead and the silence is deafening. We stay present to our questions, doubts, fears and pain. We find solace in books and song lyrics. We stay open to safe people and small mercies.  We keeping living in this story because we have read ahead to the ending. We keep the faith that our resurrection, too, is on its way.

Free Stock Photo of Candle Flame