The spring that waits to be

Mark McDonald

Mark McDonald, a Methodist minister, has served churches in Northwest Arkansas, Booneville, Jacksonville and Conway. His family settled in Faulkner County in the 1840s. He attended Hendrix College, where he serves as a trustee. He and his wife have six children all living in Central Arkansas.
Mark McDonald

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by Mark McDonald

It seems like I could write an article just about any time of the year to address new life in Arkansas, because our weather can be spring-like for a time in every season! However, as you read this issue, the odds of today being spring-like are much higher than normal! And in this issue of 501 LIFE, you will certainly see signs of spring as we start to prepare for a new season characterized by more light and new life.

There is a hymn that was written by Natalie Sleeth, who loved music from a young age and was asked to write an anthem for her church’s festival. This hymn grew out of that. It is commonly seen as an Easter hymn, which of course makes it a sign of life, death and new life beyond death.

Shortly after it was written, Sleeth’s husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer and requested that it be sung at his funeral. Since then, this hymn has not only been part of many funerals, but it has come to remind us of the way that God shows us signs of new life, new birth and new order in everyday life:

In the bulb there is a flower;
in the seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter
there’s a spring that waits to be,
unrevealed until its season,
something God alone can see.

There’s a song in every silence,
seeking word and melody;
There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery,
unrevealed until its season,
something God alone can see.

In our end is our beginning;
In our time, infinity;
In our doubt there is believing;
In our life, eternity;
In our death, a resurrection;
At the last, a victory,
unrevealed until its season,
something God alone can see.

I ask you to take this season to look for signs of new life and new beginnings everywhere you look. Even as you look through this issue that focuses on home and garden, look for the ways that you see that God brings life out of death, healing out of brokenness, through this spring that waits to be.