Revival: Hope for "Old Unbelievers" and Others of Little Fatih
"March. I am beginning
to anticipate a thaw. Early mornings
the earth, old unbeliever, is still crusted with frost..."
...but as the light lengthens, preacher
of good news, evangelizing leaves and branches,
his large gestures beckon green
out of gray."
from Luci Shaw's poem, "Revival" -- What the Light was Like, Word Farm, 2006.
In my world of four seasons, every spring I have a new lesson on the power of the resurrection. Just when the creation seems to have resigned itself to a palette of neutrals, light coaxes out the first glimpses of life waiting to be called out. The daffodils bloom first, their yellow splendor an opening act for the tulips to follow. The grass greens on its way to its first clipping of the year. With resurrection comes growth, change; and eventually, if a cold front doesn’t barge in on the process, the end result will be fruit and more seed.
Times ticks steady, day by day, morning and night, death and resurrection. So many of us are in seasons of waiting, of longing for light to rise in the darkness and bring us into a new day. We long to for transformation---new life, new hope when all seems lost.
Are you one of the watchmen waiting for a new day to break on the horizon? You aren't dead, not yet, but you need revival. So do I. So many of us do. We need light to break forth into life, new purpose, and new dreams.
Revive: To return to life; to recover life or strength; to live anew; to become reanimated or reinvigorated. To restore.
Jeff had aspirations for a garden last year. He prepared the soil during winter and he and Annie ordered seeds out of a catalog. They thought sprouting the seed in containers in the house was a good idea. They wanted to care for them before setting them out in the garden.
Jeff was the “old unbeliever” it seemed. A warm winter wooed him into beginning the seeding process early. His stated purpose for planting the tiny seeds so early was because he didn’t think they'd come up. He said this even though he had bought little trays with fortified soil to plant them.
Oh yea, of little faith.
They placed the planted seeds on a table by a window facing south. Within days, the seeds were breaking the tops of the dirt with new little stems—resurrection.
How much time did it take? Was it three days? It might have been? He was thrilled---and I joined the celebration. It didn’t matter that the seeding process had been started too early. The fact that it happened at all gave us hope. We could do it again if necessary. Now we believed in miracles.
Sometimes, I feel like I live outside of the possibility of miracles. I believe in them for others but not so much for me, "old unbeliever." I want to change that, to begin again this day with a life of faith and hope. Hope always looks for the Light. Hope submits to the rhythms of life, to processes that are mysteries. Mystery always requires faith. And faith, watered with grace bears fruit. This is the expectation of living in the Light, but it doesn’t happen without a miracle.
Today, I’m asking God for a revival, and for a miracle or two.
Shine forth, Lord. Let your light rise and shine in the darkness. Make me a "preacher of good news." Forgive this old unbeliever; revive me again.
Hallelujah. Thine the Glory. Hallelujah. Amen.