"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." ~ Galatians 5:22
There is something about spring that I love, and that is seeing the fruits of a cold winter.
Living along the Gulf, winter life is much different than what I experienced as a child growing up in Indiana. The long, cloudy, and often dark days, with wind that was both dry and harsh, would often leave my skin red and chapped if not covered.
The many layers of clothing that we would put on prior to going out, would make even a short walking distance a struggle. Then there was taking everything back off once you arrived at your destination!
I can remember getting on the school bus. The first few steps would be slushy, as previous passengers upon boarding, would kick off snow and ice. The handrails were often smooth and shined from glove-covered hands. It wasn't until that you were mid-bus that you could feel the warm air of heaters, often clattering with each acceleration of the bus, from under the seats near the back of the bus. Because my sister and I were among the earliest on the route to be picked up, many of us could still see our breath, even while sitting on the bus, until we had reached the first few miles.
For me, watching hyacinth, crocus, daffodil and tulips begin to emerge was something I couldn't wait to see, especially if the winter had been extremely long.
There is something about seeing just a hint of green coming forth from ice and snow, that was nearly transparent from the spring thaw, and dripping with a winter dew. The first sign of a tulip often was the tip of a leaf, encircled by a thin layer of brown, like the outer layer of an onion, that could no longer hold it.
Like so many of us who experience challenges, we each possess something that cannot be contained. Such things as peace, hope and love are innate characteristics, that when God stirred from within, cannot help but burst forth.
For me, I am moved by those who have experienced the harsh realities of life, and through those life encounters suddenly find a way to break out and begin anew. To bloom, so to speak.
For there is really nothing that prevents the love and joy of God from being encountered. Even on the darkest of days, Christ found a way to proclaim "it is finished," announcing the end to his own pain and suffering, and to be released.
Nothing prevents any of us from proclaiming the same!
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.