Thursday, February 28, 2013

Snowdrops Piercing the Ground (Peter Black)

This morning, while seated at my computer and my hands  poised over the keyboard, I pose the  question: What do I write about this week? 
No, I don’t have a burning topic in mind that’s just bursting to get out and take form. And yet, I do have a sense of assurance that out of the quiet, placid mood I have just now, a story will come . . . will come, like a tiny green shoot – a snowdrop piercing the ground, which will shortly present its delicate white-petalled heads, cheerfully announcing that winter will soon be past, for spring is on its way. 
In finding one’s way in uncertainty you pretty well have to begin where you are, so here goes. I have the house to myself, since my wife is off to a ladies meeting. They meet in a home, discuss a book and consider it in the light of the Scripture – basically a Bible study, over coffee or tea. And they share their joys and concerns – especially for others, and pray. 

A long-term friend, Doris, facilitates the study. She and her late husband became our friends when I was their pastor, many years ago. Bruce served with me on our church deacon board. Let me tell you about the last time he and I were together. 
About seven years ago I drove from the community where I was serving, to attend the memorial service of another member who’d served on that board with us, and enjoyed a time of visiting with various folks over the lunch afterward. Hmm, but I was missing Bruce and wondered if he were OK. Imagine my delight to see him approaching the door  smiling, as I was leaving the church building. 

Too late now for the funeral service and lunch, he’d been detained by having to deal with an emergency call in his plumbing and heating business. 
Broad smiles and warm hugs. “C’mon over to our place for a visit before you head back home,” he grinned.  I  accepted gladly. 
Doris wasn’t yet home from work. Meanwhile we had a coffee and snack, and chatted away and laughed. We anticipated spring and Easter(they had a lovely yard and garden in the country), and exchanged family news, and reminisced about old times – and Joe, who’d passed away. We hugged, and then I headed for home. 

Several weeks later I made another trip to that community, this time for Bruce’s own funeral visitation. He’d entered into the eternal springtime of God’s gracious presence. I now warmly cherish my last earthbound conversation and fellowship with my Christian brother, whom I’d seen grow in his commitment to the Lord Jesus, and had witnessed his kindness to others, including my wife and myself. However, I cherish the hope of meeting him again,  in the mercy and by the grace of God, when I too will have left the confines of time and space.

The Christian period of Lent embraces a time for reflection on our Lord Jesus’ sufferings and death, leading to His resurrection. Snowdrops and crocuses, and daffodils and tulips arise from winter’s ‘death’ to cheer our hearts, in varieties of  beautiful form and colour, reminding us that Winter will soon be past, and spring is just about here.  

May these cherished reflections of my friend and Christian brother Bruce be like cheerful snowdrops piercing the ground of your heart to blossom into pure blooms of gratitude to God for your valued friends, and above all, for Jesus our Saviour, Redeemer and Friend.

Peter A. Black is a freelance writer in Southwestern Ontario, and is author of “Parables from the Pond” – a children's / family book."  (Finalist -- Word Alive Press ISBN 1897373-21-X )
His inspirational column, P-Pep! appears weekly in The Guide-Advocate. His articles have appeared in 50 Plus Contact and testimony, and several newspapers in Ontario.

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