“For lo the winter is passed, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is heard and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.” Song of Solomon 2:1
In Middle Tennessee, spring is a time for rejoicing. Everywhere you turn, there is beauty on display. From the early heralds of flowering quince and forsythia, spring in Tennessee gradually builds until we awaken one day to find ourselves immersed in a world that belies description – from the tiny wildflowers that hide among the grasses to the daffodils and narcissus, from the white, pink and red azaleas to the sweet dogwood – all testify in their own way to the marvelous glory of God. I grew up in Florida where the lines between seasons were blurred at best and had never truly experienced the advent and glory of spring until I moved to Tennessee. Each spring I find myself marveling at the hand of God as spring gloriously unfolds before us. It never fails to remind me, not only of the Lord’s love of beauty in nature, but also of the beauty that he puts within humanity itself.
And it is not only beauty that each man and woman on this earth carries, but a reflection of the Creator himself. I am reminded at times of the words of C.S. Lewis who tells us that “There are no ordinary people…”, and indeed there are not. As my life begins to gradually open up again, I am finding that I have never encountered more beautiful people! Perhaps it is because quarantine and isolation served as a long season of winter in my life, and now that I am visiting the grocery store and my neighborhood pharmacy and even venturing further afield to the garden store and other places, I am awakening to the true beauty of humanity and how each person is an image bearer of our great God. It is as though I am encountering a deep and true spring in my heart for the first time in a long time. I do not know about you, but I sense that a burden has been lifted. I am grateful. Deeply grateful. And I am determined not to let this awakening slip into obscurity. I am longing for the Lord to give me the opportunity and the courage to share His great love and His longing for deep relationship with each person I encounter. Would you pray that we would all awaken to the joy that is ours as children of the Living God and be willing to share it unreservedly?
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.” 1 John 4:7
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:12