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Finding hope in the beauty of God’s creation

Spring is a season of hope.The days are longer. The trees are blooming. And, as the green leaves replace the flowering yellows and pinks and whites, the season radiates loveliness.

In the midst of all this, of course, there’s a quiet current of anxiety, a subtle taste of fear, a worry about a virus that hovers over each day. Is it nearby? Will it arrive here? Has it already?

When I’m walking through our neighborhood, though, I try to push concerns aside and focus on the beauty of spring. Even as I dodge neighbors who threaten to come too close, I try to keep my eyes on the exquisite gift of nature. It’s not just a distraction. It’s a source of hope.

I watch the squirrels streaking through yards, hear birds chirping to one another, and see flowers pushing their way out of branches that were bare just a few weeks ago, and I’m in awe.

Life. It’s everywhere. It’s seemingly unstoppable.

Sometimes I find myself marveling at the people in other parts of the world whose quarantines didn’t start in the spring. How did they cope with being housebound in the cold darkness of winter? What did they do? How did they get their children’s energy out in the long dreary cold?

On a sunny spring morning under a cloudless sky, winter seems a distant memory. In quarantine, time seems to have so much meaning and yet no context. When was winter? Weeks ago? Months ago? I’ve lost track. The other day I looked at our boys’ bare feet and they looked enormous.

“Do your shoes even still fit?” I asked. They laughed. They probably didn’t understand why I was asking. But time has lost all meaning. All I know is that it is spring. Everything seems to be growing, including our children.

As I walk, all around me I see life—dogs sniffing lampposts, children riding bicycles, and adults jogging.

God’s fingerprints are everywhere, and this spring I spot gift after gift from our Creator. The greatest gift, of course, is today. Even with the worries and the uncertainty and the challenges that come with a continuous quarantine, we have been given another day, another breath, another chance to be all God wants us to be.

I don’t know what the future holds. Many nights I wake up in the early morning hours and cannot fall back to sleep. Am I doing all I can to protect my family? Where will the virus strike next? Will those who are sick be healed? Will life ever return to normal?

On a spring walk the next day, though, I can find a glimmer of peace and a gentle promise.

Life abounds. Life is a precious gift we must cherish and protect. And it is full of unexpected beauty, even when under quarantine. With God’s hand, even a dandelion finds its way up through a crack in the sidewalk.