Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Waiting for the end

Last week, we welcomed spring with open arms, thrilled to see the grass again. I rejoiced over that warm gray hue on the lake. The ducks seemed to be laughing as they swam between melting chunks of ice. Even the weeping willows looked cheerful against the deep blue sky.

But, this week.
Snow, again.

Winter is bidding farewell, with passion. The hills and roofs and cars were clad  in white, again. Today, the sky is heavy with gloom.

Spring snow

The world grieved for the death of a stranger this week.

Kara Tippetts (1976-2015) was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 36. For me, 36 is only three years away. She had four young children. She battled against the cancer in her body for three years, but she called it her "fight for a tender heart."
I feel like I am a little girl at a party, whose dad is asking her to leave early, and I'm throwing a fit. I am not afraid of dying, I just don't want to go.
Most of us only met Kara through our electronic screens. Yet, she compelled us to walk with her through her kindness and beauty. She wrote on her blog last December,
My little body has grown tired of battle and treatment is no longer helping. But what I see, what I know, what I have is Jesus. He has still given me breath, and with it I pray I would live well and fade well. By degrees doing both, living and dying, as I have moments left to live.
Kara died last Sunday. She lived and loved and died so well. Her life made me think about how I would want to die. She left us with her book, and her call for us to die to ourselves and follow Christ, "When you come to the end of yourself, that’s when something else can begin.”

Dying seeds

So, I hold Kara in my thoughts as I am waiting for the end of this winter and the beginning of spring.

If I would listen, the fields are teaching me a lesson about acceptance. They received the snow in quietness and trust. With open hands, they rest in the goodness of their Creator. The soil and plants are teaching me a lesson about patience. The dirt is vibrating, the trees are humming, the branches are pregnant. Soon, they will burst into life and blossoms and fruit. But for now, they are content to grow in secret places.

Just because we cannot see what is happening, does not mean nothing is happening. Growth often happens in dark and hidden places.

Soul, wait not for spring,
Wait, instead,
for the Lord of the Eternal Spring,
the Lord of Life.


estherogen said...

Thank you for the flowers.

Serenely said...

I heard of the Brittany Maynard case. But not Kara Tippet. This letter is beautiful. It's wonderful that we can have these sort of long distance conversations. It's a rare and beautiful thing to have a friend like you who would get these sort of thoughts I think about and actually ponder about them too. You always add a new perspective to my ponderings. I'm glad I have you, Irene

julie said...

I was following Kara these last few months, too, and inspired by her desire to finish well. Thanks for these thoughts. I heard a quotation from Matthew Henry recently, which I thought of again when I read your post: "Spiritual growth consists most in the growth of the root, which is out of sight." This is also inspiring: :)

Thanks also for your comment on my blog. We are so grateful for the blessing of the Internet, in so many ways! :)

Irene Sun said...

Rare and beautiful, that you are, Serene. I am glad I have you.

Julie - That video was breathtaking. It occurred to me while I was watching that video that plants are beings that move and breathe, yet I do not often see them as such. I cannot wait to show it to the boys! We are learning about spring and plants these two weeks. Those jars are our science experiments. =)

julie said...

So glad you enjoyed it!!

estherogen said...

this is advent.