August 3, 2020 - April Fools

American poet Edna St. Vincent Milay, probably having a bad day, wrote the following bit of poetry:

Not only underground are the brains of men

Eaten by maggots.

Life in itself

Is nothing.

An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.

Is it not enough that yearly, down this hill,

April

Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

Edna wasn’t the only bard bugged by “April.” T.S. Eliot, a contemporary, began a bit of doggerel (a ditty called “The Wasteland”) with, “April is the cruelest month, breeding/Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/Memory and desire, stirring/Dull roots with spring rain.”

Babbling, strewing flowers, breeding lilacs, April mocks us with all these colorful explosions of life; mocks us (cruelly even) because all these buds and blooms, like us, are so temporary, so, well . . . seasonal, and then they (like us) die except that--unlike the buds and blooms--we know it. We’re going to have our seasons in the sun and then the maggots will eat the very brains we know it with, the same brains which tell us that the number of Aprils which budded and bloomed before us are few compared to all those that will bud and bloom after, above, and without us—the Aprils that will come with all these idiotic explosions of color, of life, of fertility long after the names on our gravestones have been erased, maybe even long after the gravestones themselves have worn down into the same atomic structures that we will have had already long decayed into.

Unless, of course, what the Bible says about God’s love (Romans 8:3), about Jesus (John 3:16), about the cross (1 Corinthians 1:8), about the Gospel (Romans 1:6), about the promise of eternal life (Jude 21), and about the new heavens and a new earth (Revelation 21:1)—are true. If so, then, well, April, May, June, any month of any year, no matter how hard, are merely temporary way stops, unfortunate diversions in a fallen world that has been redeemed by a God who loves it, and who promises to make all things new, a promise sealed in the blood of Christ Himself.

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