March 28, 2020
“My soul waits for the Lord, more than those who watch for the morning.”
We are in the midst of trillium season, my 8th and final trillium season as your pastor. By now most of you know that I have a thing about trilliums, the lily like white flower with 3 petals blooming from the center of three green leaves, growing amongst our north coast redwood forests. My love affair with these flowers began in my first year as pastor here at Eureka First UMC when near the end of the winter Paula Blackshear said she’d seen the first trillium of the season on a hike. What’s a trillium? I wanted to know. After a brief description I started looking for them in Sequoia Park and was delighted to discover one. Every late winter since that first year I look for the trilliums and am always delighted when I find them. But I admit, that every year some doubt creeps in until I spot the first one. Maybe this year, I think, the trilliums won’t bloom, but they always do and they always will.
In Psalm 130 the psalmist begins by crying out to the Lord from a place of despair, “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.” (Psalm 130:1) By verse 6 the writer’s tone has changed with words that express the expectation that as his “soul waits” he recognizes others who have waited, like the night watchman who waits for morning – the night may be long, but morning will eventually come. During this time of “shelter in place” to protect ourselves and others from the effects of this new coronavirus and the Covid 19 disease that it causes we resemble the psalmist crying out to God, or the night watchman waiting for dawn, or me seeking to see a harbinger of spring in the first trillium bloom of the season. Though doubts creep in, though the wait seems long, our trust is in the Lord, “For with the Lord there is steadfast love…” Psalm 130.
In the midst of our waiting, I invite you to turn to God, trusting in God’s presence, love and guidance. Turn to one another – through a phone call, a note, an email, a smile or wave from a distance. And go outside and look for the trilliums that will keep blooming through April and into May.