We’re in the middle of a week of solid gloom – rain, fog, mist, more rain. I know that by the time you read this, we may be basking in warm sunshine. But for now, there is this sense of a closed-in, uninspired heaviness around.
Yet the appearance is not the reality. The spring is still bursting out around us. I think about how, not long ago, the little garden in the church atrium was buried in mountains of snow; and beneath were last year’s new plantings, looking lifeless. Now, each day I come in to work, I see those plants gaining more and more color, blossoming, going through an amazing transformation.
We are people of the resurrection. We often criticize ourselves for leaving behind the Easter proclamation soon after one particular day. But the truth is more profound than something we keep or fail to keep…it is part of the life of creation itself. We are invited into amazement at what nature is doing around us. Beyond all human attempts to measure, to analyze, to develop and pave over, the world is an amazing place.
Life is so much bigger than our thoughts, our feelings, and our often closed-in reality. When we permit ourselves to really take this in and awaken us, we start to rise up and meet it with our own living.
We can begin to understand what the poet Wendell Berry is getting at (and I thank my colleague Elizabeth King at the UCC, Congregational for reminding me of these lines in that church’s newsletter):
Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees every thousand years.
Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable.
Be joyful even though you have considered all the facts.