Each time I pass the rock garden on the corner it’s a little more alive, orange now highlighting the patches of mauve, sunny yellow and fuchsia. The baby pink cherry blossoms have dropped their petals and the deep rose varieties now burst beside the bright white magnolias as though there’s no holding back life.
Robins and song sparrows add their voices, proclaiming that winter has turned to spring, and life has conquered once again.
I’m grateful each morning for creation’s reminder. When nineteen lives are stolen by a gunman not far from where I grew up, and hundreds of thousands more by a virus stalking the globe, I need to know this: death does not have the final word.
Spring rises from winter. A shoot sprouts from a stump, and truncated trees refuse to stop their blooming. A living green carpet blankets a crumbling roof, and spring pushes into the present while last year's leaves still cling to the twigs or carpet the ground.
Death took aim at the heart of God, shot its poisoned arrow—and then stumbled and gasped as, there on the cross, Christ drew the poison into his own body, neutralizing it with his own journey through death and back into life.
Death may surround us, snatching our breath, but it does not have the final word.
Balm of Gilead poplars scent the air and I breathe deep, drawing the healing freshness, the calm, right down to my toes.
Our bodies, as much as our minds and our souls, need the minute-by-minute reminder of God’s care, and opening my whole self to the gift of each breath can be worship.