A Resurrection Kind of Reminder
May 11, 2022
My boys and I started planting our spring seeds in January. We combed through catalogs and ordered favorite seed packets over winter break; we hit up the local gardening supply store for potting mix at the turn of the new year.
A rotation of seeds-turned-seedlings soon began taking over the south-facing windows of our family room. Dozens of sprouts began a migration all their own, moving from grow lights to warming pad to windowsill before hardening off in the backyard.
Of course, ours is a grow zone that allows for early planting. If the ground even freezes at all, the soil is thawed and ready for planting by the end of February.
Until we could get seedlings into the ground, though, my sons and I relished in watching the miracle of seed to soil. We paused. We stilled ourselves before tiny buds, breathing in prayers of life, exhaling out utterances of hope.
It’s not a whole lot different in the Easter season, when life and hope become our collective story.
I think of this prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book:
Christ, you are risen with the sun;
you are light in our darkness,
warmth in our cold.
You are peace and hope and joy,
For you went willingly to death.
Like the newly planted vegetables in my backyard garden, Easter is a celebration of the one who rises with the sun, who becomes light in my darkness and warmth in my cold. Because he went willingly to death, peace and hope and joy infuse me anew.
Because always, with the season of Lent comes death. A job that didn’t pass the last round of cuts. A landlord who decides to sell the house you’ve called home. A deafening diagnosis that sends your family reeling.
A seed that doesn’t sprout, a seedling that dies with the sun.
Sometimes, we spiral downward. We pummel toward darkness. We beg for a thread of hope. We watch as life becomes a guessing game of waiting and hoping and wondering—a season of Hail Marys thrown heavenward in a plea for survival.
But then, a tiny glimmer of light rises with the sun. A smidge of warmth in the darkness. A nudging of the Christ, in our gardens, with our neighbors, and from the pulpits of our churches. A resurrection kind of reminder that always comes right on time.
We live in the northern tip of Michigan’s lower peninsula. Yesterday my husband tilled our church garden, I picked the many rocks he exposed. We won’t plant until after Memorial Day, but our bishop visit is that Sunday, we will ask his leasing of our soil. Good work and lu k in both our gardens!