Saturday, February 24, 2018

When Spring Arrives at an Inconvenient Time

It turns out there is never a convenient time to come back to a blog you've abandoned. So, on this random Saturday, I'd like to start again. It's the end of February, and Spring this year, has come too early. It's not time yet. It's too beautiful for this very moment. It's like the time I saw a cherry tree in full blossom on Halloween. The juxtaposition was comical and I was struck with such a sadness for this out-of-place beauty.

Beauty feels out of place here, a few days after yet another school massacre. It feels out of place not even one week into the season of Lent. Stepping outside after huddling up with the flu for a week, my senses felt assaulted by pink buds and yellow trumpets. It's like confronting the first holiday after the passing of a loved one. It feels jarring and sickeningly sweet.

Today I've wrestled with this beauty at a time that should be shrouded in black, like mirrors for shiva. I'm scared for students to go to school. I'm scared for immigrants threatened by deportation from the only home they've known. I'm scared for women and men to speak out against their abusers. I'm scared for my children to get sick. And I'm scared I'll lose so much sleep over it all that the deprivation will send me spiraling into a depression.

And yet there are pink buds and yellow trumpets seemingly taunting me with their cheerful presence. Spring is coming, hope is coming whether I think I'm ready or not. God does not wait to show us compassion or nudge us back towards joy. Suffering together has a certain wonder to it, in that Easter kind of way. Kindness bubbles up in community where we thought is was truly dead.

In Godly Play, we tell the children that it is very sad that Jesus died in such a violent way. But, we assure them that it is also kind of wonderful and that it is a great mystery to hold this horror and this joy together in this season. This Lent I hope to explore that mystery more fully here.

I don't feel ready to enjoy the blossoms, yet, but I do feel ready to jump back into talking about all the things that are hard and beautiful and be back in community with those who want to have those conversations, too.

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