Look up to the bare heights,and see!Jeremiah 3:2
I look at this photo and the memory comes back. March. A cold, gray, dreary day. My sister loves days like this but I’m solar powered. I crave the warmth and light of the sun. A wintry rain is different from a warm spring rain, an energetic, hot summer thunderstorm or even a gentle autumn rain. These wintry days chill to the bone, bleak, despairing, isolating as we’re driven indoors to shelter. Our focus is on the bareness of the branches. Often, I’ve thought of Lent this way – as a time of loss, of giving up something we enjoy (like chocolate!), of something to endure and get through so that Easter can come.
Yet wintry rains can be cleansing. The Orthodox Church starts Lent not with Ash Wednesday but with Clean Monday. What an interesting thought. During the time of Lent, we can embrace these days and let them wash away old grievances, disappointments, hurts. Clean out the old in preparation for the new. Let go of past mistakes and seek forgiveness of sins.
Rainwater nourishes the seeds planted in the Earth, waiting for spring. April showers may bring May flowers, but March rains bring the cheery yellow daffodils in April that announce the end of winter. These branches may look bare but even now tiny buds are forming.
All in God’s time, all in God’s plan. New life is coming, a renewal of life is coming. We have hope.