Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Signs of Spring
Ah, the first day of spring! It feels like it here in Indiana -- sunny, bright, mid-50s, muddy. And all around are signs of spring and signs of God at work. The former are fairly obvious at Ploughshares -- crocus creeping up through the mulch, the bald eagles adding to their nest as they get ready for (hopefully) another hatchling or two, buds popping on all the saplings we planted last summer, the normally sedate, meandering creek at times a raging river whisking huge logs and other debris downstream (or leaving it littering our field).
The latter -- signs of God -- are usually a little less obvious, although those of us who attend worship services will hear lots of (mostly children's) sermon allusions to seeds sprouting et al as spiritual analogies of the resurrection. While those are good, and true, the signs of God I'm speaking of are obvious only if we pay attention in love, obvious only when we let our hearts and minds be open to the mysterious workings of God around us. I tend to notice those signs by using my senses. When I see the eagles soaring on the windy days, held aloft by the strong spring breezes and their mighty wings, I'm reminded how God sustains us -- "they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles" (Isaiah 40). When gather up broken branches from the many thorny locust trees and a thorn pierces my glove or shoots up through my boot, I'm reminded of a crown of thorns worn in love and agony thousands of years ago -- and it becomes real today. I could go on with smells, and sounds, and taste, but you get the idea.
I hope you'll take this time to "taste and see that the Lord is good." To savor the "sweet smelling sacrifices." And to listen with your ears and heart for signs of spring and signs of the everliving and everloving God. For, as poet Gerald Manley Hopkins, says "Christ plays in ten thousand places." Where is He playing around you?