The gentle coming of Spring after a long, hard, cold Winter reminds me of the way Love can creep slowly back into hearts wounded and cracked open by the freezing betrayal of friends, family, or spouses, hearts fractured by the ice of rejection, self-doubt and failure, hearts that see the barren landscape of their lives and fear that Love will never come again.
When can be more painful and heart-rending than when we want a relationship to last and the one we love just walks away without even trying? Our life has spun out of control, and we are helpless to put it back on track. We tell ourselves that we're not failures, but we feel that we are. We weep tears of mingled anger and shame. Trust and hope have fled. We live in an inner landscape of endless winter.
Yet the reality is that God Our Gardener is already planting seeds and bulbs in the cold, bleak ground of our hearts, watering us with the Rain of His Mercy, warming us slowly with the Sun of His Love. Look around you. See how many have found new love or reconciliation with loved ones after months and years of tears and waiting. Yes, Love will re-enter our lives when God sees that we are ready for a new season of Spring.
But when Spring comes again, will we remember to thank the One Whose child we are, our Gardener and Healer? The prophet Hosea speaks of God as mourning the child - us - who forget to go back and say thanks: "I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks; yet though I stooped to feed my child(ren), they did not know that I was their Healer...."