The warmer weather has come at just the right time. I truly thought we might go squirrely if we didn’t have a sweet kiss from springtime soon. Our city is notoriously moody when it comes to weather so whenever the sun shines and a warm, drying breeze blows in the month of April, we shout “Hip hip hooray” and seize the moment with bubbles, sidewalk chalk, soccer balls and bicycles. We know it’s entirely possible the snow will return overnight and we’ll be back to making snow angels and snowmen instead.
It’s the music of life: the sound of the neighbour’s power tools and my children’s voices filling the air as the late afternoon sunshine streams down in all its glory.
We hopped in the van one day last week and hit the road to a nearby spot. As we drove, I heard a little voice in the backseat pondering what we were doing in this vehicle.
“We went for a walk AND a drive?” my 2 year old asked, astounded that both of the most exciting events in our life happened in the same day.
I laughed. It’s true, going for a walk and a drive in one day is pretty special in these extraordinary times.
A few weeks ago, when winter’s chill had yet to dissipate, we took the kids on a special visit to their great-grandfather’s grave. It was cold and it took us a while to find the exact spot we had gathered nearly two years ago to say goodbye, but we had important conversations about death and feelings and theology as we went. It was a moment we may have missed if life was running its usual routine.
The beauty of the changing seasons. A shift into a slower pace of life. Opportunities for deeper connection.
Thank you Lord that there are things even a pandemic cannot cancel.
Leftover pastel treats and foil-wrapped bunnies and eggs serve to remind us of an Easter unlike any other. Our family traditions felt more important than ever this year: family communion on Good Friday, dyeing hardboiled eggs with all sorts of combinations of McCormicks food colouring, hunting for baskets in the morning and eggs in the snow, Easter Sunday morning church and a special family dinner.
Even with our cherished traditions we still felt the sadness of missing our brothers and sisters in Christ and from our extended family. We longed for lingering moments with lifted voices in worship, for the chance to share the good news of Jesus with our students in kids’ church, for eruptions of laughter around a large dinner table afterward. But we know that it won’t always be this way.
We have a hope and a future that will last long after this pandemic is written into the history books. And we are forever grateful that it’s not based on things that can change in the blink of an eye, but rather on the love of Christ! I kept thinking of Romans 8 this week:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
‘For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
(Romans 8:35-39 NIV)
What a beautiful reminder that the best things in life last beyond this life.
Thank You Jesus for your incomparable love! May You carry us in this difficult time, with news headlines that break our hearts into a thousand pieces and tempt us to despair. We will hold on to You as You hold on to us, knowing that nothing can separate us from You.