Rich and I have been traveling since the first week of January with only a few days home between each trip. Today I am sitting in my living room with the doors and windows open. It is a beautiful day in Seattle. The sun is out, our yard is in bloom and the birds are singing. Spring, the return of warmth the feeling that all nature has come back to life and a reminder that all things are being made new!
I am grateful to be home most of May and June. To be home is grounding. Sitting on my deck, listening to the cats, the dogs, the birds and insects; seeing the elegant colors of flowers opening and showing their beauty along with all the leaves on trees and bushes that seemed to have appeared overnight while I was asleep. The scent of lilies, crocus, outside grilling and the soft touch of transparent leaves, petals and the blades of grass under my feet give me hope that there is always a new day. The sun will come out. Mourning can turn to dancing and there is beauty for ashes. God’s mercies are truly new everyday.
As we travel we meet many of you in the region and beyond and hear the stories of pain, loss, suffering and we pray for comfort. We hear the good news that Jesus is alive and working in the midst of your congregations, your lives and we celebrate. We hear the stories of the mundane and ordinary and we are reminded of what it means to be faithful day in and day out.
The Message puts it best in Romans 12:1-2:
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.
Spring reminds us over and over again that the work of winter, hidden and underground, is important work. The work that happens in the dark, in the midst of grace-filled surrender for some, even to the point of death, is not the last word. New life is our story; death to life, creation to new creation is His Story. This is the one we are invited to over and over again no matter where we have been and what we have done. If I had to imagine what stories in Scripture remind me of spring without much thought these come to mind:
Would you take a few moments today, tomorrow and the rest of this week and reflect on a story that gives you hope? The hope that
All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.
-Rose Madrid Swetman