Thursday, April 28, 2011

Signs of Life

Chicago has been soaking up its share of April showers lately. The kids at the after school program where I work have been cooped up inside for weeks on end, their energy overflowing like a river pushing the limits of the levee. You might think this rain means that spring is near, but the temperature, struggling to stay above the mid-40s, keeps resisting your theory; we drove through snow flurries on our way to Michigan last week. Local meteorologist / Valpo grad Ginger Zee says this is all normal for a la niƱa year, but it still feels like the season is taunting us.

So is it spring or isn’t it?

The question echoes through the gospel text for this Sunday. Is Jesus alive or isn’t he? The disciples tell Thomas about their sunny day – we saw him! – but Thomas doesn’t want to get his hopes up. Not now. Not yet.

Some of us graduating seniors can relate. Many of us are waiting for calls. And as the latest issue of The Lutheran explains, for some of us – for more of us than ever before, in fact – that may take awhile. A few of us have been interviewing (second base, I think). Several of us have paperwork (first base, I think). Many of us have heard nothing at all (waiting for the first pitch, I think). And some of us have moved to one or another base only to be thrown out for one or another reason, sent back to the dugout to await another at-bat.

So is new life here, or is it still on its way? Is it Easter, or is it Advent?

I step outside, and the rain comes again, but just a sprinkling. (Is it raining, or isn’t it?) The water runs in irregular rivets along the sidewalk, trickling into the dirt. Deep below the ground, seeds are nourished, break out of their shells, grow roots. New life is on its way. New life is here.

Here, on its way, both at the very same time, even now, in this season of uncertainty, even now, as we try to believe before we can see. Even now. Alleluia, alleluia.

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