He wished me Spring

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Spring is the time of year when new life vibrates just beneath the surface of the ground.  The earth is warming and pulsing with life. Seeds are germinating and shafts of green are pushing up through the soil — stretching to receive light. The air is cool, dry and crisp. Birds flit about stealing dried bits to stuff into the small places where they will hide their young. Creatures emerge from their slumber to make the sounds that will build to create the symphony of summer.

Spring is also the time when my mother died. With the cool breeze comes the faint memory of the car ride to the memorial service. The sky was a crisp Colorado blue — the day was cruel in it’s beauty. With her, died everything I ever believed about the world. My personal world construct was shattered.  She was brutalized, her blood was spilled, and her heart stopped beating.
Her life was no more.

I think, if she could have voiced her last wish for me, it would be that I would have a chance — a chance to live a rich and abundant life, a life full of love, a life teeming with relationships.
She would have wished me Spring.

And Spring is when my stepmother died. With the sunshine that calls forth the buds on the trees, comes the memories of our drive to the funeral home and the flurry of decisions. We surrounded her bed as a family on the night she died, unaware that as we prayed to say goodbye, that she would really go. I awoke to the alarm, in the dark of the morning, and crept down the quiet hall to her room- it was time to slip the tiny white pill beneath her tongue to quell the anxiety. But when I got there, the weak heaving of her chest had stopped. But I couldn’t be sure — was she breathing? Her skin was cool — or was it? Should I wake my sleeping father to his dread? Could this be?
It was over.

I think, if she could have voiced her last wish for me, it would be that I would have a chance — a chance to live a rich and abundant life, a life full of love, a life teeming with relationships.
She would have wished me Spring.

And Spring is the time when we celebrate Easter. With the dyed eggs, and the grassy baskets, and the pretty dresses, come the memories of the cross and the horror of His passing. With the opening of the daffodils, I remember the day His life-giving blood was spilled in hatred. And with the rising of the sun, three days later, I remember that the stone was rolled away, and He rose.
But was He really alive? It made no sense.
Did they really see Him?
For Him, it wasn’t over.

He did voice His last wish- a wish that has been carried through the generations. He wished that I would have a chance — a chance to live a rich and abundant life, a life full of love, a life teeming with relationships.
Because of Him, I have access to it all.
He wished me Spring.

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Photo Credit:  Caroline Paulus
A late Easter post dedicated to a blogger in England who, tragically, just lost her son, and is suffering through unspeakable grief.
See her story at The Journey of My Left Foot (whilst remembering my son)
My Friend, He wishes you Spring…

Defy Nature

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In Matthew chapter 14 Jesus learns that John the Baptist, the one who had known his purpose,  even in the womb — had been viciously murdered. John and Jesus shared a special connection — they were purposed and were purposeful.

Jesus responded to this news by climbing into a boat and heading off to a place to be alone, but when the word spread that he might be within reach, he was followed by people in the nearby villages. Jesus could see them gathering and walking along the lakeshore and he was overcome with compassion. In all his grief — in his probable state of frustration and anger — Jesus still chose to give way to compassion, to engage and to heal crowds.

John’s senseless death only served to propel him forward.
Jesus so emptied himself of fear, hatred, and rage — he so surrendered — that the force of love yielded miraculous results.
That kind of infused love that changes everything.
He healed the sick and miraculously fed the 5000 men, women, and children that had gathered near the shore.

After Jesus dismissed the crowds, he sent his disciples off in the boat and climbed up the mountainside to be alone and pray. When he came down, just before dawn, the boat was a good distance away from shore in rough waves. Defying nature, Jesus walked on water to reach the boat.

All this…  just after the loss of John. The event could have shut him down.
He could have given up or given way, but the circumstances only proved to strengthen him. He hadn’t traded his faith for fear or unbelief.
What was it like that day as he took to the water?
Was there a gentle breeze that touched his face?

He was able to empty himself, listen, and receive the sustenance he needed to survive not only his own grief, but to pour out unfathomable love.

That’s the kind of pure love I want — the kind that banishes all that I could — and maybe should — feel.
The kind that overcomes my rights, my propensities, and my self consciousness.
The kind that defies nature and encourages miracles.

help me see past my feeble eyes.

thank you, God…

to know all you knew — and still press in — whoa.
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Photo by House and Garden