Thursday, February 24, 2011

February's Grace

I feel a need to write a tribute to February. It has such a bad name, gets such a bum rap. We are longing to leave winter and coldness and deep white behind. But for all our aching, we won't find spring in this month. Winter is still very present. Therefore, February has little inherent charm apart from a lovely pink and red holiday smack in the middle.

It is true that folks have endured a lot of winter by the time we reach mid-February on the calendar. Our senses long for that smell of spring in the air, a glimpse of green poking through the white, the sound of the robin's song.

The thing about February is this: one morning we wake to spring in the air as the sun beams warmth and snow disappears by the hour. Windows are flung open, rooms aired out, and people imagine wearing shorts and running shoes tomorrow.

But tomorrow morning arrives; the thermometer has dropped a full 45 degrees, the ground is hard, clouds fill the horizon, the snow returns. And hearts fail as hopes are crushed.

Endure such taunting more than just a few times and you learn to hold February's promises loosely. More accurately, you learn that it was not a promise for tomorrow, only a reminder that change is coming; spring is indeed on its way.

I like February. It reminds me that seasons DO change. It challenges me to endure with expectation intact, to hold onto truth in lieu of disappointment in false hopes.

"Dig deep and hold on," I hear myself saying. "Remember that winter will end, and God will usher in new life."

February cannot be avoided. In fact, I think February is needed. At least, it is needed by me. I grow in February. I find Him.

I dig a bit deeper.