By The Revd Canon Cate Edmonds,
Travelling to and fro the Cathedral I pass several wide verges ablaze with hosts of golden daffodils. Sight of these never ceases to lift my mood and to make me smile. The joy of seeing their bright trumpets, some large and some delicately small, lifting their heads as traffic passes them by is something that I treasure at this time of the year.
The bulbs have been dormant underground for months and then, regardless of what is happening around them, up they come pushing their way through mud or frozen ground. I have been so moved by them in the pass that I thought I would plant some bulbs in the grass verge outside our house. The ground was very unforgiving and it was very difficult to plant the bulbs easily; but I persevered and then left them to it. As other bulbs have appeared I have waited anxiously for mine to peep through the ground; but not much was happening. I then noticed that our grass verge was being walked on by many people out for their daily exercise, instead of walking in the road. These little shoots that were appearing were being trampled on. I was rather dismayed and felt I had wasted my time. But how resilient they have been? Some have persevered and although yet not in bloom they soon will be.
I have been reflecting on these daffodils and their resilience. The pandemic has increased the footfall on our verge and thus made it more challenging for these new bulbs to establish themselves and develop. Has the pandemic been challenging for you in the growth of your faith? Have you felt yourself challenged in what you have always held onto in your faith? Owing to the lack of both community and communion have you felt undernourished? Have you felt the burden of isolation spiritually draining? Or have you like my poor bulbs taken this opportunity to persevere, to take things a bit more slowly and to use the time to explore you faith more deeply?
Christ’s journey in the wilderness was a time of trial, both from temptations but also from hardship. As he travelled through the 40 days there must have been times when he wondered whether it was all worth it. Was the call from his Father too great? We too can feel that our call as Christians is hard, and perhaps even harder in our present time. But as Christ knew and we know, we do not struggle alone, we have the Holy Spirit to guide and to inspire us enhanced by the joy of creation around us to lift our hearts and minds.
I know that very soon my struggling bulbs will raise their golden heads and welcome the coming of spring. Their journey might have been hard but they will make it. Our journey has been hard but we will make it, we have the light of Christ to guide us and the hope of life to come.