April 7, and it’s snowing. Despite the fact that April snows are not all that unusual in central Appalachia, there’s something about a blast of winter in the gathering spring that’s just, well, a little depressing.
Predictably, this little weather system has turned my mind to the metaphors God reveals to us about himself through the many voices and faces of Creation. Just as that first whiff of spring did back in February, this (hopefully!) last breath of winter has me thinking about the constant struggle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the world. It is Jadis desperately trying to cling to power in the ultimately unstoppable wake of Aslan’s roar.
As a human being living on planet Earth, there’s stuff I struggle with. Selfish desires to control my environment. Deeply ingrained patterns that lead me away from what I know is right and good and true. Old habits that can get packed away and taped up in boxes, only to occasionally find their way back to the surface and scream for my attention.
Two close friends have had to deal with the ultimate winter in their lives in the past couple of weeks as loved ones have said their final goodbyes to this world. Another friend’s sister-in-law has been given the final diagnosis. All over this planet, people are blanketed by the winter of a broken world. Addictions, poverty, hunger, disease, death.
Even as the snow is falling on my backyard, though, a brave cardinal is singing in his loudest, clearest voice. He and I will not be conquered by winter. Because the greatest gift to Creation is hope, even in the midst of our despair. The spring of God’s kingdom is upon us. Winter cannot win. Its victories will come, but they will be brief and unsustainable. Jadis will always fight in vain.
I am enlarged in the waiting.