The robins returned to our crabapple tree last week. Though the snow lay deep, still they came, singing, announcing that spring has arrived although the snow still flutters down and all lies frozen and frosted white.
The world waits now in a kind of winter, still and dormant under the grip of a virus. We wait in our homes for this invisible threat to visit us or pass us by. We wait for renewal, to discover what life will be like when this viral winter is over. For once, the world has no answers for us. Will we emerge humbled by our humanity, or weakened by our fears? After being forced into our corners will we come out swinging, or embracing?
One tiny organism has brought us to our knees; but how many of us will pick ourselves up afterwards and continue on while we ignore the glory of God shouting through the sunrise and the stars and the unfolding of each flower? Surely we should fall to our knees again in the presence of a God who has the power to give life, and to take it.
Ours is a God of stunning surprises; of paradigm shift; of paradox. This virus is a curse and also an opportunity. The rubber of faith must gain traction on the road of fear. We are called to bear light in darkness, to display glimpses of glory in the face of the unknown. This might all blow over by this time next year but for now, this is our purpose and our calling as those who claim to be children of this fearsome, holy, merciful and tender God.
Let us be like the robins, singing now, before the ice melts. Announcing life in the shadow of death; being wonder-watchers among the despairing as we wait with hope and purpose.