There were so many beautiful flowers on Easter Sunday. Just one of the blooms in one of the plastic pots that lined the pathway for the Easter Garden Scenes was enough to sit and appreciate for a while, but when taken together with the gorgeous display of flowers inside the church brought by people coming to church, the blossoms in the flowerbeds and in the trees around the Cathedral grounds, and all the flowers in the surrounding neighborhood, it was an overwhelming amount of beauty—too much to take in.
I had similar feelings sitting and listening to some of the pieces in the Good Friday Choral Vespers. “Lift thine eyes, O lift thine eyes to the mountains, whence cometh, whence cometh, whence cometh help.” There is beauty in a single voice singing a lovely melody, but when that voice is singing comfort from the Lord’s Word in harmony with other voices, there is more beauty than the heart can hold.
In the Good Friday service, the beauty and comfort was juxtaposed with grief, despair, and horror and there are times of crisis in our lives when we similarly experience such good and such evil, such sweetness and such sadness, such heartening and such heartbreaking experiences, one after the other. And there doesn’t even have to be some big crisis going on to experience things like this. I wish I weren’t often jolted out of enjoying a sweet moment with a little person or an old person by remembering their frail mortality—by remembering the brutal fact that illness or injury could take them from me at any point.
All it will take is one big, windy storm and most of the flowers in the trees will be gone. And even the most beautiful of songs will eventually come to an end. As I try to simply be grateful for the beauty and the sweetness that is available to me in the present moment, I am grounded in the reality of the eternity of the Lord’s Word. The Lord and His Word are for all seasons, not just the springtime. There is infinite goodness and truth there, enough for all of us, and enough for each of us to have our daily bread today and each day in whatever future lies ahead of us.