Hope Deferred
Long hanging icicles release drip by drip tears on a frozen landscape.  
The warm winds of the south endeavor
to break the hold of the great north winds.  
The days are getting longer.  
                      The brilliant sun bears down on the hardened earth.  

However, winter is not ready to leave.  
She still has work to do.  
We find ourselves between two worlds…
          one that is frozen white and the other that is watery green.  
Winter fiercely guards her territory.  
One day of warmth is followed by five days of cold, numbing wind.   
Melted snow shows signs of brown-yellowed grass.  
There are days upon days of dark, stormy, and cloudy skies…
another snow storm or two may pass our way.  
We get teased with the hope of warmth only to be disappointed.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick”  (Proverbs  13:12)

Winter does not want us to leave its auspices quite yet.  
The nourishing of the roots and preparation for spring are
still weeks in the making.  
New life needs a place to thrive and gather root.  
Too much heat too fast and a freeze could kill the new shoot.

Like the baby in the womb waiting for its time of delivery,                     
so all these new beginnings need time to mature                    
and develop in a safe place…            
gathering energy for the journey ahead.                    
This is a time for travail and false labor pains.                  

When the time is ready, the gift will come.        
The great roots are stirring.  
The potential of spring lies coiled
and waiting to be born.  
This is still a time of waiting
and forbearance for all living creatures.   
It is a long and winding road to spring.  

In Psalm 100:5 we read, “For the Lord is good and
His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.”  

                             The harsh journeys of winter leave us
                                                    less sure of ourselves
                                   and more reliant upon the grace of the God.  
                                    The Lord sees our suffering;
                                  the bleakness and emptiness of our lives.
                                      He comes to redeem us.  

The process of life is always one of death and rebirth.  
The Lord God transforms the places in us that are dying…
breathing new life.

It takes great courage and faith to wait at the root level.  

We do have this promise that
“He is good and His love endures forever…
He is faithful through all generations (seasons)” (Ps. 100:5).

I am reminded of this word,
“The Lord your God is with you.  He is mighty to save.  
He will take great delight in you.  
He will quiet you with His love.  
He will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

It is His work to usher in spring.  
We are called to follow along and trust in His timing.  
Waiting and patience are refined in the winter journey of the soul.

“Sometimes I go about pitying myself,
and all the time I am being carried
on great winds across the sky.” (Chippewa)

“Here’s the new rule:
Break the wineglass, and fall toward the
Glassblower’s breath.” (Rumi)


                                          The Burst of Spring
Soul Journey Through the Seasons
Tending the Fire--03/07