Or the route for my morning run that crosses fields, over rolling hills and past a lake—which I can actually see if the sun is up.
Or the sense of newness pervading our whole life these days.
For whatever reason, spring seems more sparkling, more pungent…more alive!…to me this year.
The wild yellow jonquils welcome morning along the fence rows. The clover blooms purple and washes the fields in pastel. The Bradford pears are standing white sentinel along roads and long country drives.
In the mountains, a hint of green is emerging at the tips of winter-dead branches and paints the sunlit hilltops and valley shadows.. For accents, the redbud trees whisper “psst” in pink and dogwoods bloom solitary under still silent oaks.
Then, there are the birds –lots and lots and lots of birds –who sing a loud chorus to welcome every sunrise, just outside my bedroom window. They are chattering praise to their Creator, who knows when even one of them slips off a birch branch, in a language I can’t speak, have never heard and the United Nations cannot translate.
Glorious sunrises give way to cloudless days with bright sunshine tempered by gentle breezes. Even more glorious sunsets hang onto the horizon-hugging glow until they give way to weird half-light of dusk and then to the deep bluish-purple night.
And the stars…oh, my, the stars. Away from the city’s ambient light from mall parking lots and insistent neon, the stars show themselves. The Big Dipper, Orion’s Belt and a thousand thousand thousand unnamed sparkling points are “the heavens telling the glory of God” (Ps.19:1). Their beams reach my eyes at this moment after light years of travel across the universe’s dark span.
Pretty much every single day for the past two weeks has been like this.
But here’s the thing. Three weeks ago, it was cold and rainy and blustery. And felt like it had been like that for an incredibly long time. Colorless and dark. The sort of daily gray chill that seeps past your skin into your bones and down to the soul. You could feel the unrelenting dull.
And then, spring arrived. It crept in silently, then whispered, then spoke softly and for the past two weeks, spring has positively shouted.
What is spring shouting? One word…life. Swirling, sparkling, singing life! Not just life, but life again. Life when it felt, looked and sounded like everything was terminally dull and dying.
Life. Or to put it in faith terms…resurrection. In the afterglow of Easter Sunday, we live in a resurrection world. Not just physically, in nature, but in the deep places of our souls. Jesus rose from the dead. “Death could not keep its hold on him.” (Acts 2:24) And the gospel (good news) of His promise is that, for all who trust Him, death could not keep its hold on you either.
What sort of death? Certainly the spiritual death of sin that separates the soul from the source of its life. But there’s also the little deaths that come from living in a whole world system broken by sin—the deaths of relationships or dreams or expectations or emotional investment or jobs or success or health or joy or peace or ….
When those things die in or around you, it dulls the soul. It is the gray chill that seeps so deep that life becomes only a distant memory.
But with Jesus, there is resurrection. No matter how deep the death – in reality or just in how it seems to you—there is a promise of life in Jesus. Life again.
In other words, with Jesus, there is spring.
I think that’s why this spring is so alive for me. For the past few years, life has kicked me and my family squarely in the teeth. We have come close to going down for the count, giving in to the creeping dullness of soul and graying of vision that comes with deaths.
But this spring, life just feels different for all of us. There’s a blooming in our souls that matches the blooming on the trees. The world is moving from gray-scale to full color. We’re beginning to sing again. The stone is rolled away both for us and in us. And there is life there.
And so, spring shouts life, hope, joy, healing, restoration and tomorrow.
Spring shouts Jesus.