Spring is upon us, at least for me blessed to live in the Boise area. As I turned my clock and adjusted to different time of light, what I found myself appreciating was signs of new life, signs of positive change. I have appreciated more sunshine in my days and warmer temperatures. I have appreciated tulips and daffodils beginning to pop up in yards as I walked my golden doodle, Fozzy and I have appreciated walking my kids to school for in-person learning again. I have found myself often in the past few days appreciating signs of life.
This spring takes even greater meaning as the winter has seemed extra-long and difficult, because really this entire year living in a pandemic has felt like a winter to me. A time when the nature we are surrounded by has more dark than light, when trees are barren of leaves and we have this sense of longing for more. I think back to last March when we were in lock down and things were so confusing and I felt buried similar to the bulb of those tulips and daffodils beginning to peak through the ground. I have spent some time wondering and reflecting on how I am emerging this March.
I am extremely grateful to be healthy. I am extremely grateful for the medical professionals who have advised best practices in mitigating the risk of transmitting COVID to others and have found a vaccine to help many. I am grateful to teachers and grocery store workers and preachers and really everyone who has adapted to new ways of doing things and kept trying, even when they were exhausted, confused, or unsure how to lead. I am appreciative of the time I had with my family to play more games, cook more, and take more walks. I am thankful for neighbors and friends willing to adapt or connect in new ways for sustaining me through loneliness, confusion, and uncertainty. I am thankful for an incredibly different summer in my job, thankful for the growth that it has brought for both me and the ministry I serve. I wouldn’t have asked or thought I needed much of what I have navigated my way through these past 12 months, but I hope I am better because of these experiences.
I feel like those flowers I have walked by recently, just beginning to peak out of the ground, beginning to see the sun and feel the warmth of day more fully. I find myself wanting to linger a little and reflect upon the growth and the hardship, the new discoveries and the tears of the past 12 months because it has changed me. A part of these reflecting moments may be that we are in the church season of Lent and I regularly adjust parts of my life to intentionally engage with God is a new way and make myself slow down to reflect on the past year. Each year is a journey in a way and Lent helps me focus on that. Forty days to prepare my heart and mind, to reflect upon the last days of Christ and the call to leave as an Easter people. The moments Jesus experienced in community, the pain and tears, and the journey to life’s end on earth. Ultimately, as believers, new life comes in the risen Christ at Easter and we are nearly there for 2021.
Community of Faith, continue to walk with each other forward as the pandemic changes, more people become vaccinated and we can begin to gather again. Continue to be creative as we face new challenges and create moments to rest, moments to connect to what matters most to you. May God be the source of light and life, may what has been experienced in the past year prepare us and call us forth to use our gifts to brighten others’ days. Draw inspiration from Isaiah 41: 19, “I am about to do a new thing, now it springs forth…”
Let us pray...
A reminder from a friend, Pastor Jenn Collins, Wausau, WI
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ in me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me.
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise, Christ to shield me
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me.