It has been a long, dark, brutal winter in my part of the world this year.
The view out any window in New England is a world of endless white, the promise of spring seemingly buried forever.
Last week, I met a dear friend for lunch. She asked about the latest on the ongoing trial that my family has been enduring for quite awhile now.
After I filled her in, she smiled wide and said, “Remember, spring is coming!” She reminded me of one of my favorite Scriptures, Song of Solomon 2:10-12, which speaks of the coming of spring and a time of great hope.
That Scripture stayed with me over the next couple of days, so it sprang immediately to my mind like the sun bursting through a cloudy day the moment that I encountered the singing birds.
It was well below zero that morning. The night before, the wind had blown and howled with hurricane- force velocity but the dawn had ushered in a blessed calm and the winds were mercifully stilled.
The instant I opened my eyes, I could hear the birds.
I immediately got up and followed their sweet sound, marveling that even though the earth was locked into sub-zero temperatures, there could be birds singing!
And there they were: two small fluffy birds perched on the bare branches right outside our window. I walked right up to the pane and could see them in great detail. Their little black eyes burned brightly and their brown and black feathers looked they they would be soft to the touch. But it was their singing that completely captivated me. They sat on those branches for probably a solid minute, their voices mingling in what was to me a beautiful symphony. I smiled with delight and wished they would stay all day. I had never before seen birds in that particular location.
All too soon, they flew away and took their lovely music with them.
But in their place, the Scripture my friend had shared with me rang out loud can clear: “Arise My love, My beautiful one, and come away! For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of the birds has come.”
The great Creator God who controls all things had sent my winter-weary soul a message that morning through those two dark-eyed juncos: Winter will soon be over. Spring is on its way. Hope lives. There is always still a song.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops — at all….
~Emily Dickinson, c.1861