Fake grass, real faith
Spring renewal takes effort to last through the year
My wife bought a couple of bags of green plastic “Easter grass.” Like tree blossoms, they burst forth on store shelves every spring, marking the transition from winter.
Due to my Great Depression-inspired lineage and upbringing, I wasn’t familiar with the act of purchasing Easter grass. I thought it was like the plastic eggs on the shelf next to the washer and dryer in our basement — one of those things we store from holiday to holiday, like Christmas ornaments, salvageable bits of used wrapping paper or fruitcake. Our Easter grass must have been forgotten at a relative’s home a year ago.
Ever green and ever iridescent, Easter grass lasts forever — like the victory of life over death.
Easter grass contrasts sharply with the state of my lawn. There are patches where dark green swaths of grass intermingle with luxuriating dandelions. Recent rains reinvigorated the ground. In many places, dormant roots are joyfully getting reacquainted with the concept of photosynthesis. But in other places, the effects of last summer’s brutal heat and drought are apparent.
The cracks in the earth have melded back together, but large areas of almost white thatch prove I couldn’t or wouldn’t nurture that bit of life from June to September.
That other kind of grass — the real kind — is like faith. Neglecting my lawn in favor of a baseball game or the comfort of air conditioning might be appealing. But the results are similar to neglecting a relationship with God: Weeds choke out that which is good. Grubs eat at the roots of what is pure. Then, the heat of adversity cooks whatever was left to an empty husk.
The gift of Easter is the promise of everlasting life and the knowledge that death cannot win. God’s grace is a powerful and wonderful thing. But we also need to add our own effort and regularly nurture our life in Christ.
Easter grass lasts forever, but the real thing needs cultivation and nourishment. It’s called living faith for a reason.
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