I burrowed my cold hands deeper into my coat pockets and lowered my head against the icy blast blowing through the outdoor street mall. I just wanted to get home and sit down to warm chowder. Then the cheerful jig of a violin summoned my spirit. It’s simple melody swirled around bone-dry fountains and bounced off glass-covered buildings. Spring’s equinox hadn’t yet come; a frigid month remained. I wondered at this busker’s bravery. Walking farther, I spotted him. With swollen red knuckles, he deftly tuned the A string and tested its sound. Not quite. Tried again. Turned the peg a notch. And then purity. It sliced through the grey smudge of remaining winter. A bystander tossed a coin into the open violin case. It jingled as it slid across a grin of golds and silvers and came to rest on the well-worn red velvet.
The strains of his down-home lilting tune beckoned me to linger. They offered a harmony and counter-rhythm to the squeal of brakes and the bellow of bus horns. Everything looked different after that. People didn’t hurry home with heads down and eyes averted as usual. Instead, they chatted, their words rippling like fresh snowmelt over water-smoothed pebbles.
A young couple who had snuggled in close to the sounds of his hope continued on their way, stopping at a jewelry store. They smiled at each other, and then the young man watched the wonder in her eyes as she pressed her nose into the cold window and dreamed of forever love. Another couple waved the last bus away and decided to have dinner out. One wanted pizza and the other a salad and creme brûlée. A briefcase-toting businessman crunched out a staccato rhythm on a snowbank as he turned to head home.
The brave artist had ushered in spring a month early and had offered a generous swell of joy warm enough to melt icy sidewalks and frosty souls.
Our world is in a season of winter-weary hibernation, waiting for the spring of good news to replace the despair of violence, death, and corruption on all sides. How do we abide this long night? Jesus is the light of the world. No evil is dark enough to extinguish Him. He died beneath the glacial weight of our sin but conquered death and now breathes the promise of neverending summer. We wade into the great surge of His grace where He cleanses us of our sin and fills us with ever-green hope.
Let us be the violin that coaxes travellers from the winter of their dark journey. Invite the Father to tune our hearts to the Lyrics of Life, and allow Jesus’ love to spill out, wash over, and tunnel into the foreboding towers of deception and to tumble sweetly over ice-hardened souls. Be the music that cheers and surprises, that shines light into darkness and truth into confusion. Transform a trudging walk home into a glorious awakening.
We are the bearers of the Eternal Equinox. Let us sing to our fellow pilgrims. Let us welcome Spring a month early.
If Pam could spend all day in her kitchen baking pies, brownies, and making turkey dinner for friends, she would. But Murray Pura once told her to write first and then bake—advice that she is trying to stick with these days, except, of course, when her grandchildren stop in for milk and cookies.