Yesterday, I saw a trickle of water running down the gutter in the street. Melt water, running down the street. I was driving, but I lowered my window so I could hear it trickle and burble. I almost couldn’t contain my tears.
Not because of the promise of spring-like weather. Not because of the anticipation that all this ice and snow will one day be gone.
This small trickle of water was like a poem, like a prophecy, that called to me in barely audible tones. And it spoke to a heart that was becoming weary with the sadness and grief and loss and death of the past weeks.
And it reminded me that even in the most barren of times, there is a movement of the spirit. Without denying or shielding our eyes from the grief, it still speaks to us of hope and life and peace.
It has come from as far away as a group of courageous teens in Parkland, Florida, who are working through an unimaginable horror by inspiring us, and actually leading us, into a better way of being a society. It has come from as close as those who gather and honor the life and the gifts of someone who has gone on to a new life. It has come from stillness and silence and prayer. It has come from noisy, exuberant children. It has come from music, heard and sung.
There is a hymn in our hymnal that we haven’t learned yet, but I hope we do soon. The text was written by William Cowper in 1779. The first verse says:
“Sometimes a light surprises the child of God who sings;
It is the Lord who rises with healing in his wings;
When comforts are declining, he grants the soul again
A season of clear shining to cheer it after rain.”
I would modify that a wee bit, and say that sometimes a trickling stream of melt water surprises the child of God who hears it, but the thought is the same. The Spirit breaks through the iciness of the most barren landscape, and sets the hopeful waters moving again.
May it be so for you in the coming days and weeks, as we move through the holy drama of new life rising up out of grief and death.