Lenten Grace — Yet Rise it Shall

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten

I lift mine eyes, but dimm’d with grief
No everlasting hills I see;
My life is in the fallen leaf:
O Jesus, quicken me.

My life is like a frozen thing,
No bud nor greenness can I see:
Yet rise it shall–the sap of Spring;
O Jesus, rise in me.
~Christina Rossetti from “A Better Resurrection”

I remember panicking as a small child when my mother would help me put on or take off a sweater with a particularly tight turtleneck opening, as my head would get “stuck” momentarily until she could free me.  It caused an intense feeling of being unable to breathe or see, literally shrouded.  I was trapped and held captive by something as innocuous as a piece of clothing.

That same feeling still overwhelms me at times, and not only when I wrestle with pulling something snug over my head.  I’m still held captive, but not by a turtleneck.  I’m frozen in a winter of my flaws and deficiencies, bruised and fallen and fading in my struggles to be freed.

There is no salvage without new life quickening within me.  There is no freedom without spring sap flowing, His life blood rising in what is left of my dried husk.

And rise it shall — the confining shroud discarded and cast aside.

Now, once again,  I can breathe.

 

 

 

One thought on “Lenten Grace — Yet Rise it Shall

  1. As I am reading this beautiful metaphor of rebirth and resurrection in the flowing of the Spring sap, once the removal of the dried husk of our sinful selves has been removed by His Grace and Mercy, it is so easy to vizualize in our mind the rush of fresh, clean waters of a Spring thaw, or the running of sap from a life-giving tree. We know, too, what a crusty, brittle, lifeless husk looks like. I see so clearly why Jesus used parables as an effective and recognizable method to imprint His message on the minds and hearts of those to whom he taught about His Kingdom.

    Like

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