Signs are all around us. Driving from here to there and back again, we pass road signs and advertising signs. So often we can be stopped in our tracks by signs outside of businesses or churches. Sometimes they can make us laugh out loud. Sometimes they plant ideas that take seed and grow. There was a sign outside of a Friends’ Meeting House the morning after the 2016 election: Let us see what love can do.
Signs can be words written on paper or on a poster board. They can be letters seen side-by-side that can shake us and wake us up. Letters side-by-side that can enrage or engage us. Letters side-by-side that can take us to something as inspiring as the cry of a newborn, or remind of something we’ve known our whole lives.
Signs can come in the sound of the wind through the trees or the song of the first bird of the morning in our backyard. Nature’s limitless teachers -- those buzzing bumblebees or the song of geese flying overhead. Signs come as we watch the path a dolphin takes just a ways out in the surf, or as we watch a cloud passing in front of a full moon.
Lent comes each year when we are gifted with signs of the one season moving into another. Buds into blooms. Winter giving way to spring. Daffodils. Crocuses. Blossoms. Spring bursting forth with colors that remind our hearts of YES and ABSOLUTELY and OF COURSE. Signs of spring come to us at just the best times, each year. Spring comes when we are winter-weary and the darkness feels like it is just too heavy for our spirits. Spring comes.
Signs are all around us. This Lent what signs are we following? Are we listening for familiar sounds only because we’ve heard them so often? Or are we gathering our courage to search the skies for some new message that just may appear on the horizon?
Have you ever asked for a sign from on high? I’ve done it many times. More times than not, it was in the waiting that the answers have come. For me there was never a parting of clouds or a deep booming voice sounding a message. My signs have come more often from that still, small voice. More often than not I have been renewed by remembering deep in my bones, that the one who created it all is creating still.
That sign on the board outside of the Friends’ Meeting House speaks to these days in which we are living: Let us see what love can do. This message allows no room for giving out or giving up. We are invited to hold on and to stay connected. Even when things feel overwhelming, feel messy and impossibly hard, maybe especially then. This sign encourages us to not lose hope. “Let’s see.” All of us. Don’t stop looking. Don’t stop painting or typing or yodeling. Messages come, one to another and back again. Who knows? There’s hope for us yet.
Let’s keep looking
for what love
Working in Family Experience at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan (now a freshman at Guilford College) and Sam at sophomore at DHS in Decatur, GA.