In Colorado Springs, Winter has finally and fully yielded to Summer. The leaves (and yes, there are leaves) are countless shades of green. The hillsides are offering up their secrets of wild irises, Indian paintbrush, blooming mustard, wild geraniums, blue bells, cornflowers, snapdragons and wild roses in an explosion of intricate beauty. Oh my. I am so grateful. It’s real. It’s true. It is not going to last forever but it is going to last for several soul nourishing months!
My sons have returned home from college from what was often a grueling year on many levels. Our youngest son’s last day of high school was yesterday and oh – the relief! Like Winter giving way to Summer, their lives have breathing room again. Hope rises.
Moments of rest are coming. Time to listen, really listen to the wind in the trees and maybe even discern animals in the clouds. Conversations can linger longer outside without the threat of a paper due or a test in the morning. As much as possible, I too will unplug. I love summer. It’s absolutely my favorite season. A taste of Heaven. Just a taste, I know but a taste still and one I want to savor.
The world does not stop turning though. A close relative is very ill. A good friends’ marriage is in worse trouble than anyone could have guessed. Personally, I received eight crisis calls this past week. Dear friends. Different dear friends calling with a dire SOS. No, the world does not stop turning. But in the midst of the mess and sadness and trial and grief and difficulty, the world is blooming; reminding us all of what is most true. I forget. We all forget. But may the seasonal grace given to us in the beauty of a summer thunderstorm and the flight of an emerald hummingbird serve to remind us that we are not alone. That we are LOVED. That Jesus has made every provision for us. That he is indeed reaching to each one of us with his mercy and grace and strength and being more than enough for every part of us at every turn and moment of our lives. That Jesus is present so there is beauty and life and love and joy in the moment. And immeasurably more – coming.
Yesterday I had the supreme pleasure of brushing my friend’s little girl’s long blonde hair. I took my time and she let me. While brushing, the song “I Am” by Jill Phillips began to play over the stereo – a personal favorite of mine. I began to sing as I brushed:
Oh gently lay your head
Upon my chest
And I will comfort you as a mother
While you rest…..
For I am constant
I am near
I am peace that comforts
All your secret fears…
A song about the mothering heart of God. Offering rest, grace, understanding and mercy. As I sang, I flashed to the memory of singing this very song to my friend at her baby shower as we celebrated this coming daughter. Now six years later, I am singing it to her little girl. I realized I had stumbled into a holy moment. The veil became thin as I breathed in the presence of eternity. The presence of Love.
May this summer hold for you and I and ours many moments of beauty and rest and joy. May the eternal break into all of our mundane. May we all grow in recognizing the beauty and the presence and the power of Jesus in the midst of our lives while they shower us with fragrant blooms or, as they will, with difficulties.
And may you take every opportunity to lay your head upon his chest and allow God to comfort you like a mother while you rest. Happy Summer. Happy Summer indeed!