Spring brings with it a calling from God
“My love spoke and said to me,
‘Arise and come with me. See the winter has passed, the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come’ “
(Song of Songs 2:10-12)
We live in a time in-between. The calendar may say April, but the wind says March. The sun may be playing in the sky later into the evening, but the thermometer says “February.” The radiant warmth of the afternoon rays make puddles for children, but the mounds of snow on the curb and in the fields resist, silently saying “not yet.”
What a living parable is the emergence of spring this year. Oh I have lived in North Dakota long enough to know that Ma Nature has her own time and calendar, but this year I find myself growing a wee bit more impatient with the lingering of winter. Is it just me, or do you long for the warmer breezes and the chance to get out into your lawn?
We’re an impatient people, and we don’t like times of transitions. Yet they fill our lives, they define our days. A child’s halting first steps, the student preparing for finals, the couple making final plans for their wedding, the single person who eats alone. We dwell in the land of the in-between, and I wonder is not life itself a time in between?
So I look (I would encourage you to do likewise) around me for hints, for clues, for silent taps of the presence of God in life. Can God be found in times in-between? In the longing for spring is there hidden a longing for the renewal of the relationship which gives life? In the stretching out before the warm rays of the sun, there’s a desire to stretch and be stretched into the son light of compassion. The breeze ah the spring breeze to open the windows and let it dance through the rooms, to banish the staleness the closed-in-ness of winter and to breathe a refreshing vigor into every nook and cranny there I find an image of prayer, the desire of the Spirit and the calling of grace.
The Bible speaks of times in-between. The passionate love letter known as the Song of Songs found in the transition of spring the stirrings of life and love. But it speaks of a love, a passion and a desire deeper than human love can know, for it speaks of the holy love of God, the longing of God for you and me.
So today, let me bask in the warmth of the afternoon sun. I’ll crack the car window and let the breeze blow through, and maybe, just maybe, take a moment to splash in a puddle. Spring is coming, God is calling and life is oh, so good.
Rev. David Maxfield is a pastor at Christ Lutheran Church in Minot.