This must be the strangest spring that I have ever seen: ninety in March, cool and rainy in the early part of April, followed by several hard frosts, and now ninety again for the past two days. This morning brings a gorgeous dawning, clear skies and pleasant temperatures, more moderate, more seasonal.
This is a place of seasons, distinctive and progressive in a normal year. The locusts usually bloom in May but began a month early this go-round, a fringe of white just starting to show on the branches three or four weeks ago. Then the near-freezes came, putting things on hold and they held, that fringe, dull and pale, caught in some sort of time warp. The latest warmth sent them surging forward. The hills of Doniphan County seemed wrapped with bright white stoles, thickets of locusts in the full flush of their blooming.
A thousand miles away from here, in an even more unusual spring, my sister has gone through six weeks of radiation therapy. She has endured the tethering to the clinic, going every day, five days a week, held by the routine. She has endured the discomfort and the pain, the wrestling away from the things she would normally do. In spite of being unable to use the usual crème treatment for the burning of the skin, she has held up remarkably well. Nearly to the end of the series, the staff suddenly remembered an alternate product for those who can’t use the usual. It brought immediate relief, a bit more tangible than the relief of their repeatedly telling Freeda that they could hardly believe how well her body was holding up to the treatments. “Most people don’t even make it this far; they’ve burned so much and are in such pain they just give up.”
Giving up has never played much of a role in her life and I suspect that she’s had more prayer support than most of their clients. Last night, after church, they had a celebration. Those of you who have joined me in praying for her were included, even though unknown. Your lifting has raised her up. We both thank you for it.
Because of that, I believe that Freeda will be able to get back up to the mountains she loves in time to see at least the last phases of spring along the Blue Ridge Parkway. And in that returning, I believe her celebration will sound a stronger chorus, resonating with the bark and blooms of the Appalachians, a full resounding with all that God has made and done.