“O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?” – Percy Bysshe Shelley
“It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.” – John Burroughs
Even in a -25 below day, the sun remains casting light, warming the earth, reflecting off the crystals. No matter the weather, no matter the circumstances, light always remains whether we see or feel it in that moment. Knowing that puts our shadowed frigid moments in perspective as they serve their purpose of transformation. Light always remains. That pull, that thread, that knowing is called hope.
We all have our seasons, our winters to testify to this truth. So, if you are in a -25 below pocket of time right now wandering and lost, suffering and empty, light remains holding you and patiently waiting for you to find it again. Always with you, never letting go.
Winter shall pass when it has done its work, preparing you for the transformation of spring. Grit and resilience breaks the frozen ground to bloom anew to discover yet again the depth of light.
“Spring stirs under silent snow.” – Terri Guillemets
Spring comes sooner when you get out and stir some snow, break a new path. Winter lingers with hibernation. So whatever winters you are going through right now, break out of the pattern of hibernation and get out into the middle of it.
In the midst of our difficulties, there are pockets of joy to burrow into and accept if but for a moment to plant seeds of hope. Spring is stirring. Easter always comes.
“If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” – Frank A. Clark
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:12-13
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Elizabeth Appell
Hope is the unbroken promise of what is to be in the passage of time, at the right time. Never, never, never give up hope for the best tomorrow. The fullness of time, trust and faith merge together to create our becoming. And in the waiting, in the building of patience, pursue joy beyond understanding and never give into despair. You are right where you are meant to be right now.
Our regrets will be centered on not enjoying moments in each day as they present themselves, even in difficult times. Full bloom comes with rain, sun and time. Full bloom, the fruition of hope. Choose hope and give permission to others to do the same.
“There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.” – Bernard Williams
“It is the hour to rend thy chains, the blossom time of souls.” – Katharine Lee Bates
Easter proves that light shall always overcome darkness. When we think it’s over and nothing remains but mediocrity and despair, Easter breaks through the clouds and shows its brilliance and strength.
“The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?” – Pablo Picasso
Often we may not see or feel it, but, the light remains, especially behind the thin clouds, sustaining and pulling us through.
This year, life has felt like a Picasso painting , abstract and out of order. And yet, glimpses of light keep breaking through the cracks and soften the heart.
Redemption, rest, realignment, hope, faith, light and, of course, love. Easter has come.
“We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.” – Henry David Thoreau
Perhaps our biggest preventable regret will be realizing all that we had but missed. Not what we didn’t pursue, not far of lands that we didn’t travel to, but who and what was right in front of us that we didn’t fully see or appreciate.
A good friend of mine has a tattoo on her arm “open your eyes.” It’s a wonderful daily reminder to not look too far ahead and to learn from what has been so we are not fully sighted yet blind to the very present blessings in our life right in this very moment. The sunrise, the sunset, a drop of rain, a laugh, an embrace, the fragrance of a bud. Look around, open your eyes, all of your senses and take it in.
While in San Antonio for a conference last week, I passed a statute called “Homeless Jesus” in front of St. Mary’s Church in downtown. It stopped me in my tracks. How many times have I passed a real person on a bench and just kept going, touched slightly perhaps but not moved to stop?
When we don’t put the label of “other” on others, we find the source of compassion deep within that we’ve silenced in a hurried world. We appease ourselves with “it’s the church’s or the government’s job” to take care of them. We are the church, we are the government. And while a program will attend to the basic needs, human connection and dignity go to the heart of a human being who somehow ended up on a bench.
Whether on a bench or in the coffee shop, many people are struggling to merely get through the day. Don’t race by those who cross your path without noticing and being kind. If you do, you may miss Jesus.
“Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life.” – Janine di Giovanni
We are called to carry to the joy of Easter Sunday into Monday, Tuesday and each day to come thereafter. More than a day, it is a way to live, to be transformed. A chance to begin again, to accept grace that is given freely and generously.
Do not succumb to despair. Allow yourself to change and be changed.
Kids and dogs breathe in and breathe out joy naturally, without hesitation. Wide-eyed and unassuming, they accept and release abundance to all who are open and willing to take it in. Loving without condition, they give depth and dimension to an often obtuse world.
Happy Easter Monday, and Tuesday and Wednesday…
“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us. “ – Saint Augustine
“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.” Helen Keller
Darkness hovers, to overwhelm and crush. But light remains, breaks through and triumphs. Three days – from 30 silver coins, despair and denial to hope and deep, everlasting love. Easter returns again and again, never to be defeated.
Be drawn and pulled into the Light. Love always wins. The gravity of it all.
“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining – they just shine.” – Dwight L. Moody
“Mindfulness, the awareness of the sacredness of the details of life, makes haste and trumpery impossible. It makes every act a sacred act.” – Joan Chittister
“The more often we see the things around us – even the beautiful and wonderful things – the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds – even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin
Emerge yourself in the details of this day.
Not looking back or forward.
Being present in each moment, letting wonder enter to do its work.
Free from worry and consternation.
Oh, the days, years, we fritter away missing what’s present in front of us.
Words said and unsaid.
Be grateful for today.
Seize it with your presence and participation.
The details. Sacred indeed.
“Prayer is the means by which we transform our lives by adding that divine dimension to it.” – Marianne Dorman, Living Lent
If we allow, if we dare to be open enough to make prayer an ongoing conversation rather than an occasional obligatory monologue, we find a peace and calming quiet that transcends the noise. It is in our struggles that we are being changed, made new. If we are willing to release our own expectations and to be held in the merciful grace that only God can offer, a divine and lasting transformation begins. Never easy, but we will never be the same again.
“God is offering an invitation. A call to waiting. A call to the mysteries of the cocoon. I discovered in the spiritual life, the long way around is the saving way. It isn’t the quick and easy religion we’re accustomed to. It’s deep and difficult – a way that leads into the vortex of the soul where we touch God’s transformative powers. But we have to be patient. We have to let go and tap into our creative stillness. Most of all, we have to trust that our scarred hearts really do have wings.” – Sue Monk Kidd, When the Heart Waits
Accept the invitation.