On Monday evening we had a very nice shower of rain at our place—the rain gauge measured an inch. Apparently it was one of those spotty showers that not everyone got; next time we may not be so fortunate. As I emptied the rain gauge the next morning, I breathed a prayer of thanks for the rain. Gift…sheer gift, all that rain. Not that the ground has been particularly dry (some farmers are having a hard time making hay), but I didn’t do a lick of work for that rain, did nothing to earn it, and nothing to deserve it. It just showed up, watered all the plants and shrubbery for us, and blessed us abundantly while we sat on the screen porch and enjoyed it. Simple, and simply blessed.
High School graduations this year have reminded me not only of significant life passages, but of how quickly life itself passes. While 17 and 18 year olds (and a few 16 year olds) celebrate the completion of high school, this marks my 50th year since high school graduation. This is the year I’ll go to my high school class reunion and wonder who all the old people are there, and think I must surely be in the wrong place! Good grief…how and when did my classmates get so old while I managed to stay young? Or have I grown older too, but just didn’t notice? And what about these remarkably young-looking persons graduating this year (they still look like kids, don’t they?)—will 50 more years of living age them like my classmates?
All of a sudden everyone is talking and writing about racism in this country. Mission agencies, churches, denominational leaders, some business leaders (including Walmart), local government leaders, etc., are coming out with statements deploring the disparities and inequities between races and ethnic groups in this country, and calling for racial healing and unity. The trigger, of course, for these many statements, blogs, podcasts, and other information platforms is the death of George Floyd, and the massive and sustained protests that followed. Is this a bandwagon, or a fad, that people are jumping on and which will soon pass, or could this be a transformative and grace-filled season in which our nation does fortify itself with compassion and understanding about race and the inequities that have long given certain advantages and privilege to some people while disadvantaging others? I hope and pray it’s the latter.
When the pandemic began, I was optimistic. I saw it as a brief interruption that might actually provide a respite for some people who are overworked, help others rearrange some priorities, and teach all of us a little about life’s vulnerabilities…and then everything would return to normal. Boy, was that ever shortsighted! (Over the span of the next ten years, it may turn out to be a brief interruption, but its brevity escapes me now!) This pandemic has upended and rearranged life far beyond anything I imagined.
Perhaps it has felt worse because of the cool spring that seemed to drag on as we endured lockdowns and sheltering-at-home advisories—no potlucks, no spring sports, no graduation parties, little-to-no traveling. It’s like we’re still in hibernation. Yet seasons still come and go, reminding us of the faithful rhythms of nature, as well as the promises of God which still remain.
Blogger Missy Martens names three things about spring that remind us of God and inspire hope. Here they are: