Dearly Beloved, Grace and Peace to you. This far into spring, there is still some snow in the woods, white shadows, fading crescents of ice lying beneath the thickets. I wonder how long it will take the warm air and rain to melt it all away. I wonder when the last spring snow will fall, and disappear.
This far through Lent, I'm not done repenting. This far along in my life, there are still icy places in my heart, resistance, life frozen up, covered. I wonder how long it will take for it to melt away.
The woods have no anxiety about this. Some trees are already budding, and there are little pussy willows fuzzing up at the edge of the meadow. Others are as bare and stern as in December. The beech trees are still hanging onto last year's leaves. They do not compare or judge, or concern themselves with gauging the future. They simply open themselves to the sun as it moves in among them.
“How much?” “How long?” “How good?” These are the questions of the anxious mind, and are of no help. Leave them behind, go into the meadow, and wait. Our hearts thaw out, and sins melt away, not under pressure, not by grinding or digging, but by resting in the warmth of God. Rest there, then, and enjoy the grace that even with ice at your feet you are enfolded in a gentle, warm embrace. Let it hold you. Forget the blizzards of your guilt, let go of yearning for the summer of you perfection, and simply be in this present moment, held in the warmth of God.
Deep Blessings, Pastor Steve
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