Surprise: New Life
Last week the lawn where I live was brown with bald patches. When Jim came to mow it, I ran out and asked, “Why are you doing this?” He assured me that after a rain the grass would spring up again. Looking at the ugly dead lawns all down the street, I doubted him. But sure enough. Today after a good soaking rain, the lawns are green again. This makes a neat metaphor. Theologically speaking, it symbolizes the condition of the human race. We once were dead because of sin. Then Jesus came, shed his blood on the cross, and we have new life. I’ve seen other death-to-life scenarios.
I lived at Notre Dame College for eighteen years. All during that time everyone hoped and prayed that the dwindling enrollment would turn around. But as a visitor remarked, “Why try to keep a corpse alive?” Surprise! Under a new president the college grew by leaps and bounds. In fact, we sisters had to move out so that our convent could again become a student residence hall.
Then there’s my city, Cleveland. What people mocked as “the mistake on the lake” with a Terminal Tower looked doomed. Downtown was a ghost town. Now suddenly, unexpectedly, Cleveland is flourishing with new life.
The fabled bird the Phoenix, or firebird, would die, reduced to ashes on a pyre, but then come back to life. This myth plays out over and over in reality. So let’s continue to hope . . . that death is only the door to new eternal life . . . that people we care about who seem lost will find themselves . . . that vocations to the priesthood and religious life will see a resurgence . . . that the Cleveland Indians will win the pennant.
What has amazed you by new life? Where do you hope to see it?
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