I am honored to have Lynn D. Morrissey with us today, sharing a Lenten reflection from her rich archives. Lynn sings with her pen. She has composed a beautiful paean to laud our Beloved Jesus as we approach the triumph of Easter.
“Let him Easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson-cresseted east.” ―Gerard Manley Hopkins
“For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have already blossomed and have given forth their fragrance. Arise, . . . and come away!” ¾Song of Solomon
The winter is officially past. Spring has come, and our daughter is off from school on her spring break. My family and I have “come away” from city life, and we celebrate spring’s arrival with time together at our cozy cabin-in-the-woods. Nonetheless, it still looks and feels like winter.
A riotous rain has hurriedly come and gone. After waiting for the downpour to end, my husband Michael, daughter Sheridan, and pit Poodle Chevy, as we affectionately call him, have gone for a ramble in the crisp, cold woods.
I have already ventured outside earlier this morning, chilled to the bone, on a walk by the wind-whipped lake. I prefer now to cloister inside the heated cabin and watch the woods from my ringside seat behind a window¾my window on the world, the world awaiting the transition from winter to spring, from death to life.
All is dun-dulled: The trees’ mostly leafless limbs weave a wintry web of browns, grays, camels, charcoals, crisscrossed against the pewter-rinsed sky. Fallen leaves, crumbled and lifeless, spread a crushed carpet of decay across the dampened earth. A few forlorn leaves, pitifully shriveled, shockingly petrified, still cling to branches, as if they had refused to let go and die a graceful death.
How can it possibly be spring, with death hovering everywhere?
But then, I turn my glance. I’m startled by a sunburst of brilliant yellow piercing the dimness. Jaunty jonquils, like lemon-licked pinwheels, twirl in the breeze. Beyond them, neon-brass forsythias bloom brazenly, as if just daring the remnants of winter to remain one second longer. The flowers have at long last bloomed, proof that spring is really here, that the earth is ethereally Eastering.
The juxtaposition staggers me: stark death and stunning life. Their paradox penetrates me to the core. Death surrenders to life. Death is not the end. It doesn’t have the final, awful word. But also, paradoxically, death must reign before life triumphs.
Yet does life triumph in me? Am I allowing God to Easter me? Am I among the living dead, filled with self, or am I brimming with life, *His* life? Is my heart winter-gray, flawed with sin and mediocrity, or Son-shine yellow, flooded with the dayspring light of Christ’s purity and purpose?
Too often death reigns in me. I don’t permit life’s triumph. I am wretched. I am bound. Will I never be set free?
But then . . . I turn my glance. I’m startled by the Sonburst shattering of a stone-sealed tomb. He has risen. Jesus lives. Jesus lives in me!
And I live in Him. He says, “Behold . . . the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. Eternal spring has come.”
He says, “Arise!” And I arise. And by His strength I come away. I come away and set my heart on heavenly things. I come away and turn my glance, turn it Sonward toward the crimson-cresseted East.
(Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Lynn D. Morrissey)
Lynn D. Morrissey, is a Certified Journal Facilitator (CJF), founder of Heartsight Journaling, a ministry for reflective journal-writing, author of Love Letters to God: Deeper Intimacy through Written Prayer and other books, contributor to numerous bestsellers, an AWSA and CLASS speaker, and professional soloist. She and her beloved husband, Michael, have been married since 1975 and have a college-age daughter, Sheridan. They live in St. Louis, Missouri.
You may contact Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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