Thursday, March 17, 2016


It was just yesterday—or at least last week—their naked brown arms were raised to the heavens in a posture of utter surrender. No hint of green softened their stark appearance. Immobile, dormant, maybe even dead, they provided scant contrast to a landscape of frost-burned beige. Even a vivid imagination would have had trouble conjuring a bright future for this dismal display.

Then without warning—perhaps during the darkness of my night or when I walked head bent to guard against uneven ground or while I crouched low to bag the unwelcome droppings of the dogs I walked—this tree emerged from winter hibernation. Bare, brown limbs donned velvet gowns and clothed themselves in shades of lavender, pink and white. Like choreographed maidens, they made their appearance on the stage of spring to dance in orchestrated delight.

The Japanese Magnolia is my renaissance reminder every spring and a compelling promise of hope. It shows that what I think I see is not always what it seems. It pictures resurrection for spirit and for soul, a profane but profound image of a sacred, life-rescuing truth. In full and living color, it illustrates the nectar of the divine coursing through buried and hidden channels until a time yet to be revealed.

I am grateful the rhythms of nature are in tune with the nature of God, and that life, like the landscape, has seasons of hope and resurgence. Best of all, I am glad I can inhale deeply of the knowledge that no matter how dark life may seem, Resurrection has already come.