My friend, Dennis Manning, and I had a conversation on Monday evening about how to tell the Easter story to children. It is tempting to leap right over the hard stuff and land directly on hallelujahs, the Easter Bunny and chocolate eggs. How do you tell kids that Jesus died?
But the hallelujahs without the hard stuff is only half the story.
The Easter story touches so many people so deeply because it inspires us to wait for glory after grief. In our darkest hour it gives us hope that we will overcome our shadows. We have to find a way to tell kids that the good guy finished last, and that out of harm we are growing new good.
Our conversation put me in mind of one of Dennis’s poems: “Why the North Wind Blows.” His beautiful poem reminds me that, when the North Wind blows it doesn’t mean harm; it is just being true to its nature. When a tree—beautiful and perfect and majestic—falls under the force of the wind, it remains beautiful and perfect and majestic but in an adventurous new way.
If you celebrate Easter this year, or if there is a North Wind blowing over trees in your life, wait for signs of the good growing out of the harm.
Why the North Wind Blows
© 2012 Dennis Manning
I once saw a tree blown over by a strong North
But amazingly it did not stop . . .
On its side, some of the branches became roots,
and some of the roots became branches.
Each taking strange,
and beautiful paths . . .
Double rooted, double branched,
the tree grew like no other.
Twice as grounded.
Twice as adventurous.
In the position the tree grew,
with branch-roots here
and root-branches there.
Expansion and exploration everywhere.
It was a much easier tree for anyone to climb and
play in . . .
And so they did.
As the wind-blown tree realized it was a playground
for children of all ages,
it filled with pride,
and an inner beauty that had no choice but to
expose itself to the world.
As such, all its branches,
branch-roots and root-branches,
soared and bloomed above and below the other
trees of the forest.
And so to this day,
uncertainty and joy,
all the trees of the forest await the North Wind,
and all the power,
and creative potential that it brings.