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When You are Looking for Signs of Joy … {Words for Lent}

A Holy Experience

The water in the woods, it warms in the sun this week.

The dog plunges right in.

That was the first miracle of the skin bound God: a turning of water into wine.

A spring pond in the woods at the end of March, it’s a bit like that —

a turning of water into wine.

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The leaves are turning, spinning tender life out of nothing but a promise.<

There are signs everywhere, signs of spring.

The crocuses ripen rich and deep throated.

The dog and the girl and I, we  swallow it all, this ridiculous miracle, the newness of life pressed right out of the dead cold of winter.

When He did that, when He turned the water into something more —  it made it a feast and it made the wedding.

It was a sign too: That He is poured out for our joy. A promised joy, but something more — a present one too.

He is our present joy now, the sap running up through everything, Him turning miracles out of thin air or our wooden hearts.

There are signs everywhere.

Lent draws closer now to the wonders of His love.

There was that too, the first chapel where we passed around one big glass cup.

Passed it from hand to hand on Sunday mornings, remembering the Lord of the Wine.

And the red wine slid down and it burned in the belly, and that was the only time I ever drank the liquid fire. When I remembered His crushing.

When I drank the crushed sweetness straight down, burning with the thanks that can’t form words, that just swallows the love straight down.

The pressing out, it can happen at the end of March, at the end of the day, at the end of oneself bent over a sink. Joy miracles, they can happen anywhere and joy is like wine — it can run sweetest in the crushing places.

Wedded bliss can happen anywhere we commit to Him.

He still does that, does it right now, Lord of the Wine, Lord of the Wedding Feast. He’s turning all this turning world into something more.

Here in the woods, here in this world, here for all the willing, all a feast  spread with flowers for those who can see.

The dog drinking it all down in these spirited mouthfuls.

The girl with her face lit in the sun.
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