Sometimes April comes with tears amidst the blooms of spring. Last year my friend wept into her hands, knowing her time on earth was coming to an end. But right outside her glass door a hummingbird hovered over a pot of scarlet petals and we watched with wonder. A couple of Aprils ago a late night call crushed my soul. My little sister, battle-weary, finally let go, her eyes lingering on her son's face for the last time. That spring an apricot lily I'd never seen before unfurled outside my door, bold on a strong green stalk. We rage against the injustice and marvel at new life bursting forth from the the dead of winter.
This April we longed for a return to good health, and we thanked God for healing. On Thursday before Easter, we prayed and confessed. My precious daughters, my husband, my granddaughter--we soberly reflected on the death that brought the only hope to the world as we walked down the aisle to take the bread and wine. "Take eat...drink of it, all of you." On Sunday we were refreshed, and with joyful tears I saw my son and daughter-in-law submerged in the waters of baptism.
"Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his." Romans 6:3-5.
Our family gathers in the warm afternoon sun and children look for colored eggs in the fresh green of the lawn. A new baby cries for his dinner and we rejoice in our blessings and God's work in the lives of our people, beloved people around our table. April will bring other tears at later times. We treasure our time in this world, but when the time comes to say good-bye we will not grieve as others who have no hope. We will suffer because he suffered. We will die because he died. But we will be raised because he was raised. The promise and our hope is that one day God will wipe away all tears from our eyes and death shall be no more. All things will be made new.