How did it get to be called “Spring”? Is it because it happens so quickly, this annual resurrection from cold and dark? One day there are the same old bare branches standing in the bleak landscape, and the next day blossoms are everywhere you look.
When Tara was little, we used to play a game every Spring called “Whee! Blossoms!” This was played driving in the car, and the first one to spot another flowering tree, bush, or clump of tulips had to call out “Whee! Blossoms!” before the other person did. After awhile, the game degenerated into continuous “Whee-ing,” shouts of “No fair!” and loud laughter. If we were in the car together right now, at 66 and 36, I guarantee you the game would be played again, by unspoken agreement. Who can ever grow too old for Spring?
The Lenten class I’ve been taking at church, called “Broken & Blessed,” has ended. I am always surprised when I come face to face with cosmologies that are unlike mine. In answer to the question, “Why is there suffering?” people said things like “Because God wants us to appreciate the good things we have.” “Because God wants us to learn something.” “Because we made the wrong choices.” I’m all for appreciating and learning and trying to make the “right” choices, but I am startled for the zillionth time hear that there are people who really think God designs not only general suffering, but specific suffering, and that He even selects certain people to suffer because of some plan He has that we want Him to explain when it happens to us. “Why me?”
I don’t know for sure why we suffer. I don’t even think to ask the question. We do suffer. Move on. There are lots of things we don’t know. The God I believe in doesn’t make us suffer, but She or He is with us when we do, whether we are aware of it or not.
We don’t really have to know the why of everything, do we? We just need to know that Spring has come again this year, and that the blossoms will be back again next year. That’s an amazing promise. One of the women in the class read a prayer by Dag Hammarskjold at the end of the last session: “For all that is past, thanks; and for all that is to come, Yes.”