The branches are yet bare. The ground is yet muted, dotted only sporadically with new life. The earth, though busy soaking up winter is yet to bring forth spring. From somewhere within there is this longing for buds to open, for new life to grow, for spring’s color to paint over the canvas of winter’s monochrome.
Landscape bleak and barren grows lifeless and we grow restless. We watch a city broken with sorrow, her people bearing the weight of grief, the spoken words of hope echoing hollow this time around.
When will it end?
Our hearts long for new life, for what is dry and withered to be remade into something new. There is hope in that longing. Until we know another day where darkness hides the light.
Is it mere esthetics? Is it just, maybe, the hope for color and warmth after the cold and gray of winter? Perhaps it’s nothing more than the beating rhythm of life lived in seasons. Is it that? Is it just the desire for the new life brought forth through a new season? Or is it a rhythm from within, a rhythm that pulses within our very hearts?
Our bedroom is on the third floor and, because we’re high, our window opens to the massive and high-stretching branches of a stately old maple on our front lawn. In summer the leaf-filtered light is a vibrant green. In autumn, bright yellow and orange. When winds swirl, this tree of mine waves her branches and the leaves, they dance as though choreographed and rehearsed. She is breathtaking and, in a city where there is so much concrete and grayness of one variety or another, it’s taken little effort to look out this window and give Him thanks.
But then one by one, or sometimes as a corps, the fiery flashes exit the stage, dancing a final descent. Clinging to those last few days of colour does no good. The colors fall leaving branches naked and cold.
Bare, and dark, for almost six months each year.
Not always. There are days when snow-painted branches and falling sparkles hold a beauty unparalleled by anything that the other seasons offer. There is a profoundly hopeful beauty in winter's white.
But today I look outside and I read the news and winter seems to linger too long. When will it end?
We’re longing for warmth and colour and, maybe most of all, new life.Winter lingers and spring seems stubborn as she begrudgingly makes her entrance. Even as I long for new life to emerge, breaking through soil and bursting open bud, I know the futile rhythm of wishing time to hurry. Spring will come. Flowers will bloom. Then petals will fall. The hope of spring will so quickly darken into the deep green of summer and all too quickly the fiery hues of autumn, and then a storm will come with gusts and heavy rain and the branches will again be stripped bare.
The seasons come and go, with all their beauty and poetry and metaphor.
I’m longing for new life and I’m unable to quiet the echo of that rhythmic pulsing.
We watch a city ache and we ache with them. We ache for newness to replace what is barren and hopeless. We so quickly forget that this ache for hope, for new life, this will pulse through our veins in spring and summer all the same as it does now. It’s not a condition of the moment but a condition of the human heart.
I’ll still ache a month from now when I look out the window and see her flourishing, fresh and green. The color and warmth will be beautiful, but it will not satisfy. It was never intended to satisfy. The longing for spring is but a metaphor, but a whisper.
New life and the beauty of such hope can’t be found in the loveliness of spring nor the warmth of summer nor the vibrancy of fall nor the rebuilding of a broken city.
New life only comes when the One who is Life breathes grace into what is barren, broken, and makes all things new.