Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Temporary Landscape

Walking on Frozen Lake Michigan
On Wednesday morning I looked down through the window as the plane from Heathrow to Chicago brought me home. Thousands of feet below, light sparkled on Lake Michigan's blue waters, making it hard to believe that just one month ago, I was walking, along with hundreds of others, on her frozen surface, witnessing a landscape that was utterly amazing.

People had told me about the frozen waves. I could already see them in my mind- there would be hundreds of little frozen ripples on a flat sheet of ice and snow. But nothing could have been further from the truth. In fact, it felt more like traversing a mountain than a lake.

I stood, several hundred feet from the shore, beyond the end of the pier, where fish would normally be swimming in the deep, and surveyed this unbelievable landscape.

Huge rectangular blocks of ice had pushed their way up from the frozen depths, making mini-mountains on which people climbed and children slid. The lighthouse stood captive- totally engulfed in frozen fingers, like an alien from a horror movie.

For as far as the eye could see, the lake had become a mass of ice caves, boulders, deep caverns, pits, and ice platforms. People clambered to the highest points to capture the scene on camera. Because now, of course, it is all gone. Every peak and cave, every pit and platform-  forced to give way to warmth, and blue, and calm.

We walked a temporary landscape... just as we do every day of our lives.

But as we walk, wherever we look, Easter whispers hope. 

No matter how deep the snow, winter gives way to spring. No matter how cold the ground, earth gives way to flowers. No matter how bare the branches, frost gives way to buds.

And no matter how certain the grave, death gives way to life.

What a wonderful message for our children!

He is risen! Happy Easter!