The rain has ceased, and the green plants look aglow in the dim light. In the midst of springtime, a mystery is drifting down, settling around us, like mist. It is whispering the “magic deeper still” Aslan spoke of in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe . . . the magic that began before the dawn of time.
For three months, the plants slept. (Can you hear the echo? “. . . and on the third day be raised to life?” Matthew 16:21) I’d run my palms along the dirt in my flower beds, searching for signs of life, but there were none to be found. I began to wonder if the cold snaps had been too bitter for them. And now . . .
Why did I ever doubt?
Isn’t new life always a joyous surprise! Both times I gave birth, it was astonishing to me that a beautiful, breathing baby had indeed grown inside my rounded belly—just the way it was supposed to happen. Pregnancy was like winter for me. I was incapacitated by sickness, and it was hard to remember that something truly wonderful was going to come from it . . . that spring was coming!
Martin Luther was right when he said, “Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.” God has also written it on every butterfly emerging from the darkness of a chrysalis and on every baby who slides into the light.
In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Aslan explains that the White Witch, who made it always winter in Narnia, was unaware of the deepest magic (the kind the plants whisper) . . . “that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead . . . Death itself would start working backward.”
One needn’t be a calloused criminal to be a traitor. Most of us are only confused and lonely children, like Edmund, who believe the bleak winter will never end—who try to make our own way in the world as we see it. Jesus died willingly in our place.
It is a temptation on this earth to be “of little faith,” believing only in what we can see or explain. When Jesus was laid in the tomb, there was no sign of hope. (Just a promise forgotten.) All seemed lost. How easy it is to forget that spring is coming.
Mary Magdalene forgot. She saw Jesus in his resurrected body and thought he was the gardener. It wasn’t until he spoke her name, “Mary,” that she suddenly knew! The love in his voice was like a magical melody that melted the winter from her eyes and heart and blew the top off her human understanding. “Rabboni,” she answered, basking in the most glorious “springtime” she’d ever known. (John 20: 11-18)
I’m reminded of the Old Testament verse when Jacob says, “Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it.” (Genesis 28:16)
Jesus takes our barren land and clothes us in flowers. He gives us “beauty for ashes.” Instead of my life leading to death, Christ’s death is leading me to life!
Springtime is a glimpse into wonders deep, born from perfect love. If we pay attention, we can witness with our eyes what we believe in our hearts. The whispers in the garden strengthen my faith. I see life and beauty. I hear echoes of Easter. Death has lost its power! It may often feel like “winter” here on earth, but the gift of Christ’s death and resurrection is as real as the green shoots poking through the soil. Surely Jesus is here with us, and eternal springtime is coming.
Dear Jesus, let me hear you call me by name. May your voice wash over me, and may the reality of your love melt any icy disbelief from my heart, so that I may live in the holy green hope of your resurrection. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Amen