Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring Rain, Spring Tears, The Promise of Lent's End

Today's Palm Sunday service was a painful one. The weather was rainy, cold, and more like an Ash Wednesday than a Palm Sunday in the South. Prior to the reading of the Passion narrative and the subsequent gloomy organ solo, today's short homily brought back too many memories of recent deaths and too many graphic details of hospital visits and funerals while not offering enough hope for the Resurrection to offset the despair.

Holy Week always reminds me of the bitter and the sweet, the loss and the victory, and I have to look back at how I have come through the dark, gloomy times of my life in order to better reflect on the facts that there will always be a tomorrow, the rain of tears and the floods of sorrows will go away, and the Sun will shine on a new day.

As I finish these cold, rainy, sometimes tearful days of Lent, and make myself look forward to Easter's warmth of the Son, I pause to reflect on earlier Lents, Springtimes of my youth, rainy days, and the fact that no matter if I fell short of my goals during Lent, or no matter how dark or dismal the personal circumstances may have seemed, in the long run God found a way to rescue, restore, and lift me up to be high and dry, together with Him.

Today's gloom and doom brought back a flood of memories for me. One of these I share below. I drove by the place pictured below just before Lent began this year, and I saw that the place was gutted. Much needed renovations were scheduled. Its old broken skeleton will be reborn. The old memories survive, both the good and the bad, no earthly renovations can remove those, but I can thank God that he keeps them in their rightful place and only lets them out on days like this.

(Images from my shoebox)

Spring Rain

"I thought I had forgotten,
But it all came back again
To-night with the first spring thunder
In a rush of rain.
I remembered a darkened doorway
Where we stood while the storm swept by,

Thunder gripping the earth
And lightning scrawled on the sky.
The passing motor busses swayed,
For the street was a river of rain,

Lashed into little golden waves
In the lamp light's stain.
With the wild spring rain and thunder
My heart was wild and gay;
Your eyes said more to me that night
Than your lips would ever say. . . .
I thought I had forgotten,
But it all came back again
To-night with the first spring thunder
In a rush of rain."
Love Songs
By Sara Teasdale 1884-1933

This time of year can give us the both the loveliest and the nastiest weather, beautiful winter scenes, false Springs, and seasonal depression too. Today we got a big dose of nasty. The old saying goes, "April showers bring May flowers," except around here we seem to get our rain in March and the flowers in April. I guess this is one of those years where we get tears raining down too.

Let the promise of Easter carry us through the next week because wonderful things are coming that will dry every one of those tears.

Come Lord Jesus...

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