This has been a long winter. A season of stretched-out grayness and cold barrenness.
I know. I know. We need the winter. We need the rest and the dormancy. Our world needs to lay fallow for a season. Winter is a time of latent life that is invisible to the casual observer. Or the light-deprived—like me.
I am not sure how many times I have whispered to myself, “This too shall pass. Yes, Tamera, it will. This too shall pass.”
I was beginning to wonder.
But one morning I woke up and looked out my kitchen window and the grass in the yard was green. There were buds on the trees. The tulips and daffodils were pushing up through the dead grass.
The sun started to shine.
And I could feel my sap running. I came awake.
I have been resurrected from my winter slumber.
Two weeks from today Christ-followers will celebrate the most essential tenet of our faith. Without the fact of the Resurrection our faith would be null and void. Without this event—this coming to life, rising up from the grave and casting off the shackles of death event— we would lose the very life blood of who we are.
I have no interest in remaining in the darkness of burial. I have no desire to be left in a perpetual Friday or Saturday of that weekend event. I am a Sunday kind of girl. I want to live like it is Sunday!
For the next fourteen days I am going to share some thoughts with you about what we call Easter.
These thoughts will be nothing new and most likely written about and discussed a hundred times before. Most likely someone has or will communicate them far better that I. Solomon, in all his wisdom, says there is nothing new under the sun. I am not striving or looking for originality. I am looking for the Spirit to take something that has become far too familiar and make it fresh.
We tend to overlook, ignore or scorn the familiar. We grow weary of it. We say we have been there, done that. Heard that, seen that. Oh, but that is why God’s Word is living and active. It is not simply words on a page—no, we interact with the Word of God, because every time we approach it we are coming from a slightly different slope or angle. Every time we encounter the Word there is an opportunity for the Spirit to teach us.
I am not sure how many times I have read the last chapters of the gospels. I could not count how many messages I have heard about the last week of Jesus’ life. I do know this: I have become far too familiar. And the truth is: sometimes familiarity breeds contempt.
I am asking the God of the Resurrection to enable me to see the last chapters of the gospels in a new light. I am asking that in the next fourteen days to be changed.
Recently a dear friend of mine told me she preferred the butterfly as a symbol of her faith. I had to think about that for a while. At first it seemed far too clichéd to me. Ahhhh, too familiar. And because of its familiarity I almost dismissed it.
Today I was walking on our walking trail with my husband. The wind was blowing, the grasses were moving, my hair was whipping and the sun was shining. No clouds in the sky. No scent of rain in the air. Just heat and light. How could it get any better?
I was talking—thirty words to every two steps it seemed.
And the day got better.
Swooping, gliding, floating and fluttering across the grass, clover and dandelions was a butterfly. It flew ahead of me on the trail—hovering and dancing. A yellow butterfly.
A yellow butterfly.
Months ago an ugly caterpillar had fed its greediness full—and cocooned itself in a tight ball and went dormant. Waiting. Suspended all through the long, dark winter. One day it woke up and the cocoon was too tight. The creature began to push through the membrane that had been its protection. And it emerged.
And the symbol I had considered a bit cliché and far too familiar was new. In that moment on the walking trail God took something old, over-used and worn and made it new.
I came fully awake.
Would you join me in this fourteen day journey? Fourteen days of looking at the familiar and asking our Resurrection God to please show us something new.
Are you awake yet?