One of the sure signs of spring (and one of my favorite sights) is the blossoming of magnolia trees. There are some stunningly beautiful examples of pink flowering magnolia trees near the parsonage where I live. Our immediate neighbors to the north have one in their back yard. Two neighbors one block east of the parsonage each have their own magnificent example of these trees in their yards. They soar above street level and are a delight to my eyes out of the parsonage’s east windows.
Now, I’m no Wayne Schmipff (Edgebrook Covenant’s arborist extraordinaire!), but my observation thru the years has been that once a really good spring downpour occurs, or once there’s a day of really strong winds, those beautiful pink / white blossoms of the magnolia tree are toast. Knocked from their branches, they fall all too quickly to the ground and are gone, much to my disappointment.
Funny thing… this year, with more than a few really good spring downpours, and several really windy days, the pink flowering magnolia trees I’ve enjoyed seeing out the windows of the parsonage, are still holding their blooms. Magnificently, defiantly, the blooms have endured and held on thru some really harsh spring weather, a beautiful beacon of branches in the midst of a dreary spring.
I believe God is speaking to me that just as these beautiful blooms have held on and endured during some really harsh weather, we too will endure and continue to show forth the beauty of God’s love in the midst of the harsh days of pandemic that we find ourselves. I have been amazed at all the ways God’s love has been revealed thru the courageous and every day acts of kindness and sacrifice that are daily on display from those in our church family and millions of others around the world.
I don’t typically think of magnolia tree blossoms as tenacious. But they have been this year. And they have become God’s way of reminding me thru His creation that we too will survive, even thrive and become better as we reflect the love of Christ during these days of pandemic.
Psalm 19:1-2 says: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.” Well this year, for me, and just maybe for you, these verses can also apply to another beautiful part of God’s creation: the surprisingly tenacious magnolia tree!