Monday, March 23, 2015

Living In Response To Grace

They dance among the dry stubble of last year’s corn harvest.

All of them awkwardly beautiful, lifting their musical cries toward blue-grey skies that are dotted with wisps of velum-like clouds.
These feathered visitors make throaty purrs and trills all strung together not unlike a well-trained orchestra. As the hazy morning mist hangs in low lying countryside, their distinctive rolling cries, settle over the river valley.

Wearing crimson caps, these birds arrive in great multitudes, and their songs are a rising crescendo of noise. They are singing their own psalm to usher in the arrival of spring and their spirited moves are a promenade of gangly grace.

Sandhill cranes, along with thousands of other migratory birds are welcomed signs of spring and said to be one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on the continent. And it happens right where I live.

The trees mostly hang bare from the long winter, but lifeless brown branches are beginning to show signs of green rising and fat pods look ready to break open and unfurl new leaflets.

Only a few shoots of green have pushed up on the south side of our home and every daffodil and tulip in the neighbors flowerbed is a testimony to longer hours of sunlight and temperatures that aren’t dropping as low at night.

This weekend, as we traveled miles and miles of road, open pastures on either side, there were hints of spring. Momma cows pressing their large noses to nudge newborn calves. Every now and then we would see a carpet of new grass growing on the sunny side of the ditch slope and some farmers were leaving a cloud of dust, as they began the process of preparing their fields for a new season of planting. 

The contrast between depleted dry soil that has laid dormant for months of winter, next to rows where the metal blades of cultivators had cut deep to tear open the earth, burying the old and unfolding rich soft soil. This process that makes the ground ready to receive seeds that will begin a new season of planting, tending and harvesting. 

This weekend too, we heard the sharp static crackle in the announcer’s speakers when he would come on to announce the names of baseball players. The light breeze flipped strands of hair while the afternoon sun warmed the skin, making it easy to close the eyes. With each sharp ringing sound that a bat makes when it collides with a fast pitch ball, the mind was jolted back to where the body was. 

Cheers of devoted baseball fans added to the sounds of my spring orchestra arrangement. It is all a symphony of sights and sound and smells, that remind me how one season has slipped away and another has arrived.

These days I feel as if I’m living in response to all this beautiful grace.

Full, often loud, crashing, rushing, rolling, chaotic days, softened by moments of appreciation for this season.

And Easter is coming.

The true celebration of new life.

 This is my favorite holiday of all.

The fact is, Easter is the foundation where I place all that I believe.

Because friends, Easter means resurrection.

That is a really big word that simply means, "to rise."

I've been reading about the final earth days of Jesus. All the events that led up to His death on that splintered rugged cross.

What I see, is that Jesus knew where He was heading and still He took one faith filled step after another.

He fed the hungry.

He healed the sick.

He gave sight to those who had never seen.

And in the final days before His death on the cross, He raised Lazarus from the dead.

He cleared the temple of those taking advantage of people for money. Again.

He washed the feet of His disciples.

He prayed.

He wept at the unbelief of the people He came to save.

He was betrayed by a close friend –with a kiss.

He was beaten to the point that no one could recognize Him and finally nailed to a cross.

But that is not where the story ends –in fact that is really where it all begins anew.

Christ isn't hanging on a cross. Jesus isn't sealed in a stone cold tomb.

The cross served as the way for the world to receive New Life.

Jesus blood spilled, so that there could be a new season.

The season of Grace.

Jesus is still inviting us to live in response to that gift.

He still calls us to join the symphony of all He created.

Right now. In this season.

Lift your voice along with the multitudes of all He created?

Yes, spring is here, but even better? Easter is here. 

New life isn't just for the spaces around us, it is available for the space within us.

Spring is a welcomed time after the harsh dark days of winter. I find it so appropriate that we celebrate the rising of Jesus as the world around me becomes new and alive again. 

Celebrating Easter, celebrating His resurrection, is how we can live in response to Grace.

Can you hear Him calling your name?

Jesus is only a breath prayer away.


Post a Comment

I love hearing from you! Thank you for stopping by.

© Rhonda Quaney