The seeds of spring

In this morning’s Fruit of the Vine, Chuck Orwiler reminds us that “the seeds of spring wait in the cold darkness of winter.” It is cold. The days are short. But silently and invisibly, just beneath the soil’s surface, there are seeds — waiting for the ground to soften, waiting for the rain to come, waiting for a little more warmth — and spring after spring after spring, they emerge. We know they are coming. We know that there’s reason for hope. We know that what we endure today isn’t permanent.

As Chuck writes, “We may be in a winterish season, which sucks us into its darkness. We may have thoughts and behavior of which we are not proud.” But there’s hope because “the God of resurrection is not as easily sidetracked as we are.” God knows what’s coming. God knows what good there is, silently and invisibly waiting just beneath the soil’s surface. That’s why “our dead ends are often God’s beginnings.”

In his reflection on 1 Samuel 1:4-11, Chuck admits that even though “Hannah was a woman of prayer . . . she was embroiled in a rivalry that left more of her humanity showing than she might like. But that is not all. Something deep within her was touched, and she cried out to God with all her heart.”

I think this is the key to the story in 1 Samuel. Hannah admitted her need. She begged God for help. Then there was spring. “We raise our hand to heaven and cry out from the depths of our being,” and God hears us. God listens. God responds.

At the end of this morning’s reflection, Chuck offers this prayer: “O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me.” And God will. Because even “in a winterish season . . . we attend to that which burns within us” while “the seeds of spring wait.” 

Someday soon, what has been waiting will emerge, and it will be beautiful.

Eric Muhr