Our little farm welcomed a new family member this week. Our first baby cow was born on Valentines Day morning. We are expecting two more little arrivals in the next couple weeks. The excitement over the new baby is palpable around our house. The kids go and check on the calf a couple times a day, often commenting about what the cow is up to and how the mama is doing.
This new little life is such a tangible reminder that spring is just around the corner. The door on this heavy (figurative and literal) winter is just about to close and a new door is beginning to crack open.
And I would be the first to raise my hand to welcome in a new season. Winter has always been hard. This winter was harder. I live in my head quite a bit. I think that’s part of why I write. It gives me an outlet to all that noise in my head.
My friend called a couple weeks ago, the day Trump announced the initial immigration ban. She was so upset and worried and angry. In our conversation she mentioned she was trying to understand the other side, but it was just so hard. She casually mentioned that was part of why she called; she knows I go to church, she knows I know Christians, she wanted to understand how ‘we’ or ‘conservatives’ could support this presidency.
Initially I was completely taken aback by her questions but it’s really made me think about my faith and wider church community. Why doesn’t my friend know I’m a Christian? What does it even mean to say I’m a Christian?
As I’ve wrestled with these questions what I keep coming back to is this: Jesus is our tangible example of who God is. His life reveals a God who always chooses personal interaction, community, grace and healing over systems, religion, rules and law. Jesus was the one to drive out people charging fees in exchange for sacrifices on the temple grounds. He was infuriated by anyone and anything that got in the way of people having access to God.
Jesus healed people. He touched people. He shared meals. He asked hard questions. He offered change, to go a different way, to start new. He didn’t condemn. He didn’t judge. He didn’t require blind faith. Faith is offered in a question we get to answer with a yes or no.
When I think about my own personal faith and my hope for the broader church I want to be more like Jesus. For me that means more friendship, less expectation. More questions, less judgement. More meals shared, less fear of the unknown.
I have a long way to go.
In all honesty, in the last couple months, I’ve almost completely shut out any and all news. I’ve chosen my daily bubble over feeling afraid about problems that seem so huge and overwhelming.
But my conversation with my friend was a lightbulb moment. I need to tune in. And more than being tuned in about current events, I need to offer what I so deeply believe in: faith, connection, compassion, love, kindness.
That baby calf, born on a foggy snowy morning, with its downy soft ears and wobbly legs, reminds me spring is literal and figurative. And the spring I’m looking for is right here, slowly blooming in the midst of the grey and slop, taking root, growing strong.