Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Mud and the Mess

These days I'm bringing hydrangeas and ranunculus into our home. They sit white and clean, stark contrasts to the dead and brown that is melting and breaking outside. We are waiting for spring on our tiptoes, children peering out the windows, craning our necks to see what is coming our way.

Daily, I know it's coming. It's at my fingertips. Muddy and smelling of old man winter and young girl spring, I'm cleaning our boots of it, and opening the windows on these nearly 50 degree days. The air is fresh, and the night  is cold, but we lay awake by longer daylight and give thanks.

I know spring is coming. I know it.
I know it because I know that life always comes after death. It's a humbling, beautiful circle. 
I know this just as I know that winter is necessary.

I know in spite of the 39 degrees forecasted on my phone, 
warmth is melting the thick lake ice. 
It's breaking the hard ground, the crocuses are breathing, 
and the sun is hot on my cheeks under the afternoon rays.

There is no doubt. Spring is coming.

And I absolutely love that Easter falls right in the middle of this messy, muddy, ripe with life season. I love that the greatest story that my soul will sing forever falls right now.

I look everywhere and I'm reminded...
that something had to die in order that something might live.
What looks bleak and hopeless is just hiding new life, already coursing through veins, just there, under the cover of death.

Winter covered, and everything quieted, and for months it seemed, the whole sky went dark. And we know it's necessary. And we bow our heads against the biting winds and say, "This is how it must be."

Because we always know that the thaw is coming. We always know that just beyond the clouds and the gray and the biting, that the sun is getting closer. We will not shake angry fists at a bitter tempest for the rest of the year, because under all this mess is what is being made new.

And I want it all to be new. This city. These streets. The lilac bushes and empty garden beds and low hanging branches.
And yes, here. In our home. In our hearts. In our bedtime prayers and at dawn when we're whispering good morning over coffee and bowls of cereal. To be made new. 

And right at Easter, I feel it.

That the cross, the death, the mess and the covering of mess and the dark sky. It was necessary. That a sky darkened, and all of creation groaned for the new to come.  Because in three days, the hands that were dead and lifeless twitched with life coursing through them. And under cover of darkness, Jesus was already redeeming the messy and muddy. Good Friday must happen so that Sunday morning we can lift our heads against the bitter tempest and say, "The Spring has come."


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