Out the window, peeking up through the snow, bright daffodils were blooming.
I spent seven years in Maine, so I know a thing or two about winter. I saw snow pile, higher and higher, month after month, in my front yard. One year it got to be four feet deep. Two to three feet deep was common. At first, it was a bitter surprise to me when snow still covered the ground at Easter. After a few years in Maine, however, I came to expect that.
The parsonage where I lived was across the driveway from the church. Out the kitchen windows, I could see the entrance doors to the fellowship hall on a south-facing wall. And it was there, beside that door, in beds where sunlight reflected off the white wall, that the first daffodils emerged, every spring, often just in time for Easter.
Sometimes the snow was melted a foot or so away from that reflecting wall, opening the bed where the daffodils bloomed. Other years, a late snowfall covered the beds all the way to the wall. But still, the daffodils stood tall, bright yellow joy above the frozen white.
In this grim season, while warfare, suffering and horrible destruction fill our TV screens and news feeds, those daffodils shine in my memory, offering hope. Hope that bitter sorrow will someday end, and joy will blossom. A reminder that God our creator can bring forth beauty, and new life, from the most unlikely places. A sign that not even death can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Even in Maine, spring eventually comes. Even in the depths of despair, on the cross or in the tomb, the God of life and love is still present.
In memory, I see the signs of hope. Out the window, peeking up through the snow, bright daffodils were blooming.