On Sundays — not part of the forty days of Lent — I pause from my scripture reflections and this poem from Jerry Hebenstreit of Reston, Virginia, arrived. Perhaps it asks for “Natalie Sleeth’s “In the Bulb there is a Flower” (Hymn of Promise)
The cold has settled in, deep and heavy,
pressing down our temperatures and our spirits.
Even with minimal snow it’s a thick blanket
of gloom – stark and oppressive, making you wonder
if you will ever be warm again.
You’re supposed, I know, to think about the seeds
germinating below, building up strength
to burst forth into glorious blossom
I know they’re there, but they seem so far away
trapped under layers of bitter cold and wind.
Life can do that, too. Press in so thick and heavy that it
blocks out warmth and beauty and even, sometimes, hope.
And I know, yes, that deep down,
germinating under the gloom,
is the grace that will break forth,
dispelling the darkness and
warming the cold and
lifting the heavy weight of depression.
I know it’s there, even if I can’t see it or feel it.
Soon, O Lord, soon.