“Well, do you think spring has sprung?” he asks, and I look up to see things from his view. His yard is a patchwork of green and yellow, the trees at the crest of Edgewood are leafless, two brand new tulips stand awkward and alone off his front porch.
“I—I think it has. I hope so.”
Mr. Bill’s already shaking his head, his voice soft, “I’m not sure it has.”
I’d like to take him down Park Lane, where I went yesterday and could see Nanny’s daffodils even from the road, across a pond, through the brambles. Papa Larry’s driveway winds like a river between golden banks. Under the bundles nestle pink and lavender hyacinths. One white crocus pokes from the grassy patch I worked bulbs into last February.
“Only one has come up,” I complained to Papa, who held up a big finger.
“Yet,” he said.
“Yet,” I said too.
“Yet,” I’d like to offer Bill’s not-sure-spring-has-sprung.
Maybe it hasn’t leapt from the heavens to throw us off kilter with light and green beauty. But does it ever? The seasons replace one another in the work of hours and days, but spring has the hardest, longest struggle. Things have to soften, lighten, open, shoulder through the hard darkness. And so spring hasn’t sprung, and I’m not sure it ever does.
But Bill, it is springing. There’s a present tenseness that means everything. It shatters everything.
Jesus hasn’t just risen.
He is rising.
“I know that he will rise in the resurrection on the last day,” Martha said when Lazarus died and all she could cling to was yet-ness— a future promise.
But Jesus spoke in the present tense:
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26, emphasis added).
Jesus broke from the tomb— and he breaks from the tomb.
He breathed again— and he breathes again.
He has sprung— and he is springing.
Whoever believes in him lives in him, so that Resurrection happens every morning. Spring does, too.
“[He] is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” — Hebrews 7:25, emphasis added
“Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him… So you also must consider yourselves alive to God in Christ Jesus.” — Romans 6:8-11