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Springtime ~ Life after death

“Springtime is coming, happiness is here,” is a loose translation of a framed message we received as a gift when we had a student staying with us from Taiwan. Spring cuts across cultures and religions. In many cultures, spring is the start of the new year.

I love springtime. As a little girl growing up, Mom would make us new Easter dresses complete with hat with a ribbon for Easter Sunday. I have a spring birthday as well.

Easter celebrates the fact that Jesus’ tomb is empty. The idea of resurrection is powerful. I cannot ignore Jesus dying, his willingness to suffer and then his revival, overcoming darkness. Life after death. Hope rises to the surface. The long winter ends. Crocus petals push through cracks as the earth thaws.

Do we forget the long winters, the cold that clawed at our windows, the long hours of darkness, because it is spring? No. But springtime gives hope. Springtime tells us, “It’s starting again!” Life.

Incessant hopefulness in the midst of pain can be aggravating to some. How can you be joyful? How can, you be positive? I don’t think we can ignore pain with simple maxims or hollow happy tropes. Pain and suffering cannot and should not be ignored. They are warnings to heed. They are pleas for help. But I do think we were made to see beauty, to hear springtime in the returning birds, in the cracking ice, in the return of kids to playgrounds, and in laughter. We were made to hold out hope.

The assurance of a new life cycle is something I hang onto in winter and in grief. I am thankful for springtime and life after death.

*May we listen to the suffering of those in Ukraine. May they not just receive our prayers for relief, but our resolve and collective commitment in our giving. May our Ukrainian brothers and sisters, experience springtime once again in their country.

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