The Internet isn’t just bawling with dark news and death tolls these days. Look a little closer and you’ll find stories— hopeful ones. Old people still madly in love, communities using the web to unite, neighbors singing the Doxology from their porches at nine sharp each morning.
And then there’s the story God’s spinning smack dab in the midst of a global pandemic: A global phenomenon called spring.
It’s a true story God is unfurling before our eyes, and like never before, we’ve got time to read it.
Today is Saturday. I work on Saturday mornings, then scuttle around online, then put on something decent and usually go somewhere halfway important. I dig out Sunday clothes and take a shower and knock off a little early.
But today, I sat on the edge of our wooden picnic table in the sun. I walked to the garden. I kneeled to see lettuce sprouts. I fingered the clover. I planted carrots. I watched a cardinal chirp. I touched a bud on a tree. Slowly, carefully, I read a fantastical story penned by God.
While coronavirus cancels my life, God is right on schedule with the beauty he makes every April.
Spring is one hopeful story among many right now. And reeling from a pandemic, our world is all-ears. Give us something light, something warm, something pretty.
Because there is darkness, there is cold, there is ugly.
Stories help us. Communities and singing neighbors and spring buds are hopeful samplings of something even sweeter.
“It is not the physical objects I am speaking of, but that indescribable something of which they become for a moment messengers.”[i]
The lettuce sprouts and forsythia hint at another Story by God— a hope-laced one. “That indescribable something.” That Truest of true and Loveliest of lovely stories. The One all others bend towards.
The Story of how a Holy, Creator God became the created to rescue and recreate us. The Story of his death on a dead tree in the dead of a dark day. The Story of his unfurling— his life. The Story of a New Creation in which righteousness lives and we will live and life blooms in every corner and cannot be smothered.
Coronavirus wreaks death, and spring heralds life. Sin is death, and Jesus is life.
Reeling from a pandemic, our world is all-ears.
Let’s be storytellers.
Because this story we’re living is just the prologue of what’s to come. Here, there are dark plot twists and bitter characters. But there are also foreshadows of a better Story, one that’s both here and not here quite yet.
So we wait, and we read what’s given us. To a world looking for some light, we share hopeful, little echoes of a glorious Story to come. We encourage our children, our friends, our neighbors, our withering world with the words:
“We will always be with the Lord.”
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
– 2 Corninthians 4:13-18
[i] C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, (HarperCollins: New York, NY; 1949), 40