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It takes longer up here, on the mountain, for the flowers to emerge. The valley has double rows of blossoming trees, yards full of daffodils, riches unregarded. Up here, Stella scours our three acres for a handful of snow lilies and bursts in, holding them high, beaming with the victory.

“Look. Look. Mama! The flowers have come.” 

We set them reverently in glass and water, then stand back together, hand in hand, and stare. They turn our kitchen into a sanctuary.

I do not wish for you that Easter would find you without a church to call your own. Nor do I take this for myself, forever. But it is my truth today. Today I will sing Alleluia with flowers and children for company. And here among us, too, Christ is risen. I know. The flowers told me so.

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When the flowers take the pulpit…they preach astonishing, audacious hope. Against the brutality of winter and the darkness of night, they rise. They embody the relentless victory of life.

“Accept this gift, as it is given,” they whisper. “Life to you and me, life to the flowers. Rest, and accept the relentless victory of Christ.”

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And when you cannot hear the gospel in human voice, look to the snow lilies. They preach to the unbelieving, hope; to the unforgiven, resurrection. They dance scent and color into the dead places of the human heart.

Victory of the fragile. Reign of the tiny beautiful. Hope, like a rhythm. Hope. Hope. Hope.

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I do not wish for you that there would be pieces of your heart that couldn’t trust the church. Nor do I take this for myself, forever. But it is my truth right now. I have scar tissue over precious inches of my soul, and many would-be messages of hope just don’t make it through the shields.

But Christ is King. And overwhelming love spills through the fabric of the universe. It gathers in rich pools around my feet. I have church, this Easter, standing with my daughter, holding hands and staring at a jar of wildflowers.

AlleluiaAlleluia. Alleluia.

It is enough.