Springtime, as many blessings do, has both positive and negative sides. Poets tend to emphasize its growing warmth and such ethereal pleasures as lying in tender grass and naming clouds as they morph on their way across the sky. There are also the greenings and blossomings that show new life, the singing of birds, the chirping of crickets and the general feeling of well-being that they all engender.
A gardener with his tender seedlings feels almost like a mother with a newborn baby: What the young ones lack in productivity, they make up for in promise; they have yet to disappoint or dismay.
But spring has its dismaying sides, too – a plethora of problems that picture the Christian belief that we live in a fallen world – a world of both wonder and suffering, made imperfect by sin.
Ask any allergy sufferer about the mixed blessing of flowers. On the one hand, they’re eye candy. On the other, they make the eyes itch, the nose run and the throat hurt.
In Mississippi, we know all too well the warm spring day that’s hard to enjoy, overshadowed as it is by the prospect that it may turn stormy, putting lives and property and peace of mind at risk.
Even the spring festivals of Judaism and Christianity have their contrasts of dark and light, evil and good. The Passover illustrates each year the night of terrors and wonders that used the deaths of Egypt’s firstborn to launch the Hebrews out of slavery and, eventually, into the Promised Land.
Christian observances of Good Friday and Easter Sunday follow similar themes: It is death of the Christ that sets the stage for his followers’ claims on a new life and an eternal home.
These contrasts remind us that life is good, but it is not perfect. The imperfections of spring, like those of every season, leave ample room to exercise patience toward our circumstances and mercy toward one another.
NEMS Daily Journal