Today as I left my house to go for a walk in the woods, I noticed the tiny buds on our magnolia tree and a few blossoms.
Spring is trying to happen, I thought, as I walked down the driveway, bundled in my fleece jacket and gloves.
As I walked along the trail, I saw a robin perched on a limb, its bright color a beautiful contrast to the brown, leafless trees.
Spring will come, I thought. After every long, cold winter, spring always comes.
It just always seems to take a little longer than we think it should.
Like life, so like life.
Change, improvement, second chances, sun on our path, light emerging out of darkness — it all comes.
It just takes more time than we want.
Like my unemployed friend whose full-time job is finding a job.
The wait is killing him.
“I keep being told to be patient. But, patience doesn’t pay the bills,” he says.
True. Waiting can be the hardest part.
On the eve of Easter, I think of those who watched the Savior die on a cross.
I can’t fathom the grief, sorrow, and pain they felt watching Him be crucified.
That unbearable Friday when He died; that Saturday in the tomb.
Those days had to be excruciating for those who loved and worshipped Him.
But, then, miraculously, on Sunday, he rose.
Like the long-awaited spring, He appeared, giving the world the priceless gift of hope.
As I walked along the trail, I thought of all the people I know who have made miraculous comebacks.
My brother, so addicted to drugs, we lost hope in him. Drugs enslaved him, and stole the man we knew and loved.
We couldn’t see a road back.
But, day by difficult and long day, he overcame addictions.
He rose after a long, steady fall. And continues to rise every day to fight his battle and reclaim his life.
My other brother, diagnosed with vascular disease, and then bitten by a brown recluse spider, lost his leg.
An avid boater, fisherman, hunter, brick mason, and handyman, he was suddenly housebound in a wheelchair, unable to walk.
He lost his way; thinking his so-called life as an amputee was no life at all.
He felt aimless and without purpose.
Until he discovered he was still a dad, a husband, a brother, a son, an uncle, a friend, and that even without a leg, he could love them all fiercely and deeply.
He could help the sister through cancer, the brother through addictions, the daughters trying to create their own independent lives, the nephew trying to raise four small children.
While his life is not the one he planned or ever envisioned — and neither is his amazing wife’s — they too rise every morning, greet the day with gratitude, and fully live the lives they’ve been given.
I nearly cried as I walked this morning, thinking of one beautiful example after another of the people I love who rise after a fall.
That is the real meaning of Easter, isn’t it?
Just when you think spring will never come, you see a Robin on the grass to remind you that winter is on its way out.
Just when you think the phone will never ring with a job offer, it does.
Just when you think you or someone else can never recover, you do.
Change happens, people make comebacks, life gets better.
Easter is a good reminder of that truth.