Even though we grew up here in Florida, we lived up north for over a decade. Graduate school in New Jersey led to pastor positions in Iowa and then Ohio. This cool Florida morning reminds us of the seasons we knew in other places. Spring was a painting of blossoming trees and fresh green grass. Summer was beautiful with warm afternoons and long, sun filled evenings. The leaves turned bright colors and then floated to the ground in the fall. But then . . . there was winter. Yes, the first snow was magical and there is nothing more peaceful than the quiet of a cold winter morning. But the days were very short. The cold could take your breath away. The sun would sometimes not break through the low gray skies for days at a time. Icy streets and sidewalks make everyday activities difficult and even dangerous. After months of gray skies and frigid temperatures we were exhausted. We longed for the warmth of spring. We could hardly remember what it felt like to spread out a blanket on the grass or take a walk without a heavy coats and gloves. One sunny morning as we sat out on the porch drinking coffee we were convinced it must finally be spring. We found out later it was 18 degrees. It had been so long since the warmth of summer it was only a memory.
We find ourselves right now in a long winter. With the seemingly never-ending pandemic and the anxiety leading up to to election we have almost forgotten what easier times felt like. It might seem right now like the winter is all there will be, that the sun will never break through the gray skies, that the ice will never melt. It can feel like this virus will never recede. We may worry that our nation will never heal. We admit that this may continue on longer than any of us might have imagined. Some winters do last a lot longer than they should.
But spring will come.
There will be a day when the virus becomes a memory for us, when we find our way forward as a people, when things like dinners with friends can once again be simple. It is still winter but there will be a day when those first blades of grass break through the ice and snow and flowers begun to bud on the trees.
Grounded Hope doesn't pretend it isn't winter. But it firmly believes that spring is coming.
- Pastor Megan and Pastor Dave