From Winter to Spring

      Comments Off on From Winter to Spring

You might say that I married into Daffodil Mania. 

My wife’s mother, Phyllis, was joyfully fanatical about those perennial bulbs – whether white, yellow, orange, or pastels – that are currently blooming in many parts of America.

She once served a term as president of the National Daffodil Society and routinely jetted to various cities to judge flower shows.  Gardeners have cultivated more than 32,000 daffodil hybrids.  In Phyllis’ yard, on the north side of Indianapolis, her master planting list included 1,158 varieties.

More than two decades ago, we lost “Grandma” way too soon. 

But many of her daffodils, transplanted to the gardens of her daughters, live on.  When they rise from the dead every spring, they are signs that we’re finally done with winter.  They represent the hope of better days.  And they’re reminders that one day we shall walk again with those who have died in Christ.

In the fall of 2000, Lyman Coleman – founder of the Serendipity small group resources that have been an encouragement to so many people over the past 50 years – lost his wife Margaret.

Lyman ultimately sent out a letter in which he tried to put into words what he experienced over the ensuing winter:

I don’t think the pain of losing Margaret hit me until I was driving back to Denver over New Year’s weekend.  This would have been three days of communion with my beloved.  I found myself going into the little “watering holes” where we stopped along the way, and walking out without eating.

In the next few weeks, I lost 25 pounds.  I was afraid to go out.  Read the mail.  Answer the phone.  Do anything.

Fortunately, I live in a co-housing community where people notice if you are not there.  Neighbors got on my case.  One said, “You’re going to make a choice in six months to live or die.”

As the letter continued, Lyman described the agonizing process of moving forward, of deciding whether or not his life was still worth living:

With the money that people sent for a memorial, I bought hundreds of daffodil bulbs and gave them to the neighbors to plant.  It has been a cold winter and the daffodils are still underground, but in a little while they will bloom in all of their glory.

It has been a long winter for me, too.  I feel like I don’t belong anywhere.  To anyone.  I am lonely.  Lost. 

But Easter is coming.  We will be together again.  Jesus promised it.  I believe it. 

By God’s grace and power, may you leave behind any “winter” that might have gripped your soul – so that you, too, can embrace the promises of God’s spring.