Winter is Past
…for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come. – Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (NRSV)
By a trick of scheduling (or perhaps by what a pal used to call a God-incidence), this devotional will appear on the same day I am getting married for the second time.
I loved being married that first time. Terrible as it is to acknowledge now, I think I liked the perfect marriage I showed the world more than I actually liked the person I was married to. As things started to unravel, I thought desperately that saving the marriage was The Most Important Thing. Of course, “The Most Important Thing” is just long-hand for idolatry, and idols crumble.
Anyway, I said that I’d never do that again. But then I fell in love. With a person this time, not an institution. And with my real self, not with an image of myself that had been so much exhausting labor to maintain. With a mind-warpingly compassionate God, who loved me through the days when I could not love myself. And with a partnership which doesn’t look perfect from either the inside or the outside, but which is beautiful in all its life-giving imperfection.
It seems that even as the autumn of life approaches, it can be summer. It seems that winter can pass, even now that our hair is white as snow. It seems that flowers can bloom again when we thought they were buried for good. It seems that the singing, which had been so dim and distant for so long, can be heard clearly again.
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away! Amen.
Rev. Jennifer Garrison (formerly Brownell) is a writer, spiritual director and pastor living in the Pacific Northwest. Her published work most recently appeared in the book The Words of Her Mouth: Psalms for the Struggle, available from The Pilgrim Press.