Keep the Easter approach to life all year round.
Posted in , Mar 22, 2020
“He is not here; he has risen!…” —Luke 24:6 (NIV)
“He is not here,” the angels told the little group of grieving women who came to the tomb that first Easter morning. “He has risen!” This is what angels, in their myriad shapes, tell us still, not only on this Easter, but every day.
For me, one of those angels is a handsome conifer, the only large tree in our yard. My husband John and I were new homeowners, not sure of how to care for the lawn and shrubs. But whatever our failures, the tree towered above them, drawing the eye away from weeds and bare spots.
That’s why we were distressed when that fall some brown patches appeared among the dark green needles. We mulched the tree, fed it, watered it, talked to it. Nothing stopped the withering of the needles. They dropped from branch after branch until of our lovely tree only a great gaunt skeleton remained etched against the November sky.
To leave the dead tree there was just too sad. Dangerous, too, we worried. What if it fell against the house! All winter we debated whether to cut it down ourselves (too big) or to hire a tree service (too expensive).
It was in April that the first pale green fuzz appeared on the highest branches, then lower down, swelling, spreading, darkening, clothing every branch with glorious new growth. Our tree, we learned that year, was not an evergreen, but a larch—an unusual conifer that sheds its needles in the fall only to replace them in the spring, brighter, more bountiful than ever.
Today the tree is twice the height and width it was when we moved here. Autumn and spring, for forty-nine years it has played out this little drama of death and resurrection. For forty-nine years it has repeated the angels’ joyful shout: “He has risen!”
Risen Lord, with every outward sign of loss or death, give me eyes to see the Easter miracle deep within.