by the Rev. Barbara Threet
The days, so filled with budding green and flowering trees, bursting lilacs and not-yet-faded daffodils – and so filled, also, with surging Covid numbers, angst at what SCOTUS could hand down, fears of drought and fire, and terror in Ukraine and so many other places – I am reminded of a Robert Frost poem:
Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in midair stands still.
For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.
All the difficult things are there in our world, and we cannot – should not – turn away or try to deny them. We many even need to face them head on, one way or another. But they’re not all there is: the flowers are there too, and the presence of love. Those things of beauty, I believe, are an essential part of what provides enough hope and courage to face the hard places. May we recognize both the struggle and the beauty, and especially, the love.
Shalom and Salaam,