Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring is in the air!

Last week, I went for a walk in the sunshine! I took my pruners along with me and I snipped some forsythia branches from a shrub along the bike path. Not so many that anyone would notice and does this not count as random pruning? :-) Well, I came home and stuck the branches into a vase full of water. My husband queried me on my activity, asking if this was my attempt at minimalist decorating. I replied that within a week, in the warm house, these branches would produce beautiful yellow flowers. He has learned to trust me on all things gardening, so he just smiled and I know he didn't quite get it. But this is a practice that went on in my childhood home each spring. And it reminds me of the person who, each spring, would put bare branches in a vase on the mantle in the living room. He was a gentle soul and we all miss him.

Yesterday, the yellow flowers appeared. What once looked like a vase filled with bare dead branches is now a vase filled with branches covered with happy yellow flowers, cheering on the arrival of spring.

Reminds me as well of the awe inspiring creativity of our God. To think that within those bare branches is the chemistry that produces the beautiful yellow blooms. Something that looks bare and dead really isn't for within them is the capacity to produce beauty and life and growth.

He created the forsythia bush. And He created us. At the right time,the forsythia bush, in its winter bareness, responds to the water and the warmth, and produces yellow blooms. When the Spirit of God lives within a person, and responds to the nourishing of God, what beauty is created, and how God is glorified!

Friday, March 5, 2010

With Glowing Hearts

I became an instant sports fan (which for those of you who know me will surprise you greatly!) as I watched the Olympic events on TV. I found myself waking up each morning and tuning in to watch Seamus deliver his thoughts of the previous day, and tuning in during the day to see what was happening. I watched each and every event that was broadcast and at times I had to laugh at myself as I jumped up and down and cheered on the athletes. Here I was, all alone in the house, acting like a real sports fan. Yesterday I picked up a copy of MacLean's commemorative Olympic issue. What a read with story after story, and picture after picture of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. As I read through the magazine, I felt so proud to be a Canadian, so proud to be living in a country that is multi-cultural, has a reputation for peace-keeping, and is known for helping rather than conquering. We definitely know who we are not, and over the last month or so, I am beginning to believe (got my t-shirt!) that Canadians are beginning to know and express to the world who we are! And for those of you who know me, of course that thought leads to some theological reflection. The Vancouver Olympics was an event that brought out of Canadians something that was in them all along, and they stood proud and strong, showing the world who they were. What would it take, what event might happen, that would make the Church stand up and shout to the world who they are? The world has labeled Christians and I for one don't like the label they've assigned. We work quietly and often under the radar. Lots of good has been done in the name of Jesus over the generations. Often, though, it is the one radical, misguided action of a Christian or group of Christians that gets the press. So back to my original thought. What would it take to make our hearts so glow. After all, we have eternity in our hearts and that should cause a glow that the world can't help but notice!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Was that a Robin on my feeder? No..Cardinal!

Spring can't come soon enough. Today, my feeder is heavily visited by cardinals, finches, sparrows, and the morning doves hunt and peck on the ground beneath the feeder for bits of fallen seeds. The squirrels are busy gathering the toast crusts that I threw out on to the lawn after breakfast. There's something in the air this morning....and it smells like spring! I think I'll go for a walk with Maggie and Jim and take in the show! Isn't God amazing? The changing seasons, the different smells that come on the winds of the air, the little creatures that react to the changing seasons...all this reminds me that God does see the little sparrow and he provides for his creatures. How creative is our God! And how he loves the sheep of his pasture - you and me. How he loves to provide our needs. I am reminded with great joy this morning that God delights in us.