Lent already feels far behind us, the austerity and discipline stir a slight fondness and the snow a memory of its own lean beauty, but I am no-regrets delighted by the new leaves on the fruit trees we planted, by the budding tulips. Even my Norwegian (3/4)-Swede (1/4) cold-loving partner is quickly ready to embrace Appalachian Spring.
Life, and that life more abundant, rushing, flowing, providing. This is the season of Easter. Decay reversed, death swallowed up to become the fodder for newness, for growth.
Sometimes religion in this country can feel smug, and this year evangelical embrace of some hateful politics accentuates that. One could come through a season of Lent and Easter with a depressing burden of not measuring up, or with a defensive aggressiveness to win back the culture. In the prayers and the papers we hear dire predictions of decay, a false memory of prosperity-next-to-godliness-good-old-days. Bathroom signs distract from real problems like racism or lack of care for the alien or addictions or greed.
So please, this April, walk out into the mountains. Listen for a rushing river. Glory in the yellow of daffodils and forsythia. The One who paints this beauty has grand plans for the universe. Open your eyes to Life, and let your heart long for the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21).