2 Corinthians 5:16-21
I remember one February when my mother and I were standing by the kitchen window, looking out into the barren woods. "They aren't going to bloom this year," she told me, her gaze taking in all of the trees in the dense woods behind the house.
"What?" I asked her. "What do you mean they aren't going to bloom?"
"They are dead," she told me. "All the trees are dead."
Growing up in Pennsylvania, Easter always made so much sense. We buried the “Alleluia” on Ash Wednesday, and the world acted out the Lenten season. Dark came early, and stark branches spread like gnarled hands across a milky gray sky.
Then one day I'd run home from school, and the house would be full of pussy willow branches. My mother always spotted the first buds and filled the house with vases full of this soft promise that winter was ending. Then Easter would come, the whole earth would bloom, and you would believe. Every single year, God made all things new.
Here in Albuquerque, I miss the way those stark winters re-enacted the resurrection. It’s easier to lose myself in sadness like my mother’s that year when my father was dying, and she couldn’t believe that spring would come.
But my mother was wrong that year. Spring came. The trees bloomed. I’m reminded that God doesn’t need my belief to keep recreating the world. I’m encouraged to “reconcile myself to God” even in those sad seasons, when it grows hard to see ahead to spring.