As we dig out from a blizzard here in Colorado I’m longing for the early signs of Spring I remember as a child. Each year in late February or early March my dad would come into the kitchen of our Tennessee home carrying long branches he had cut off the forsythia bush in our side yard. To my sisters and me the branches looked just as lifeless as all the others on the trees and bushes outside, but Dad placed them in a vase of warm water on the windowsill.
The next day, we would marvel at the tiny buds beginning to appear. Within three days the branches would be alive with radiant yellow flowers! Although it might still be gray and gloomy outside, we had a burst of sunshine in our kitchen window, and a promise that Spring was on the way.
How can we bring that kind of springtime into the hearts and lives of people we know? We can do it literally, by forcing bulbs and delivering a basket of blooming tulips or hyacinths to a friend having a long winter of the soul. Or by planning a visit to a botanic garden where she can breathe in the sights and smells of a green spring long before it’s in full bloom in her neighborhood.
We can also bring springtime feelings into the souls of others, especially older adults, by helping them remember times in their childhood that were carefree and happy, or by listening patiently as they share fond memories of loved ones lost and days gone by.
Or maybe it’s the more permanent message of springtime renewal that we hope to deliver, one that will have long-lasting, even eternal effects. Martin Luther wrote, “Our Lord has written the promise of the Resurrection not in books alone, but in every leaf of springtime.”
Let the crocuses pushing their way through the late snows, followed by the tulips standing tall and the trees covered in bright green leaves, be the signs we need to remind us that Easter is coming! Easter, the day where believers everywhere celebrate the truth of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
So if, like the yellow forsythia, you deliver a burst of springtime to someone this year, consider adding a message of eternal hope. Remind them that Easter is coming! It could be just the encouragement they need.
Beth Lueders says
Nancy, I love this bright and hope-filled message. Jesus has risen indeed and spring will rise again soon. We have much to keep us joyfully expectant.
Amen, Beth! Thanks for reading.
Elizabeth H. Van Liere says
Nancy, we on the western slope of the Rockies have not been hit with the blast of snow you felt on the eastern slopes this week. The sun is shining and I keep looking out my front window, hoping to see the flowering crab apple tree beginning to share it’s lovely pinkish blossoms…. Not yet. The sun is a deceiver because it was only 27 degrees at 8:30 AM. Maybe I should trim a small branch from the tree, bring it indoors and place it in some water…. I think, however, that I will wait. Those blossoms should shout spring is here before too long.
I’m sure it will be glorious soon, Betty! In God’s time. 🙂
Mary Tilney says
Thank you for this springtime message, Nancy. I also have fond childhood memories of blooming forsythia every spring. Here in Florida, spring is not as evident as it was in the northeast when I was young, or even in Colorado where it often tends to jump right from winter to summer! Wherever we live and whatever the weather, we can experience springtime in our souls….Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. Hallelujah!
So good to hear from you, Mary. Florida is the place to be this winter moving into spring! Yes! Christ is risen! Amen.
Eileen Somers says
After a blizzard the hope of Spring and Easter does lift the heart. Thank you for the lovely reminder and connection to Resurrection Life. Praise God!
Amen, Eileen. Happy Easter to come!
Peggy Lovelace Ellis says
Cold. Rainy. Gloomy. But a few yards from my patio door a glorious forsythia waves in the wind reminding me sunshine and spring will come again. Thanks for the reminder that Jesus, too, will come again, and then no more cold, rainy, gloomy days!
That’s a promise we can count on, Peggy!
alice scott-ferguson says
What a fond memory of a loving father! Yes, springtime is renewal, hope and even happy!!
I revel in the sequence of flowering fruit trees here in Phoenix. The wonder of it all never grows old. Thanks again Nancy, for keeping us grounded in the goodness, when surrounded by strife and sadness!
Thanks, Alice. Focusing on the good is what keeps me going these days!
Roger and I were getting the springtime itch so we went to a nearby nursery and selected a couple of trees that will help to bring protection from the wind and sun as they mature in our yard. Granted the ground is still frozen but we paid for the trees and will return later when the earth is thawed to bring then home for planting. While there we walked all the aisles of plants and new arrivals to the nursery, the smell of fresh soil and some plants already in bloom lift my spirits . Looking forward and knowing snow is predicted again next week “Springtime in the Rockies” offers much needed moisture and the ensuing glorification of God’s gift of color. We check out the buds on the neighborhood trees as we walk our golden and know the gift of spring and renewal is just around the next corner.
Happy Easter. We saw Tim’s interview on U-Tube with the director of Focus on the Family, nicely done.
Thanks, Cheryl! Might be a good time for a trip to a botanical garden, too! To breathe in the green!