Dear Friends in Christ,

     There may be a windchill below zero, but the days are getting longer. On clear days the sun’s rays seem brighter.  The thermometer may seem to disagree with my optimism, but I have some tiny optimists on my side. The last couple of mornings, I have been greeted by a chorus of chickadees, singing their spring songs.  I enjoy chickadees.  When I sit in my tree in November, they come and check me out. They land on my tree, even on my hat, bending over the bill to see who that is down there.  When they unexpectedly fly right past my ear, the little popping sounds of the air from their wings are quite startling. It breaks up the boredom with a heart-stopping surprise.  I’m sure they chuckle after they give me an ear-buzz. That’s OK. The chickadees and I have been breaking up each others’ boredom for half a century.  They’re old friends.  As singers go, chickadees are not show-offs. They sing just two notes, which sound to me like so-la; two notes, one full step apart. They sing each note clearly and emphatically, over and over and over. The one on the bush by me sings it, the one up in the tree sings it, the one behind the house sings it, then my guy sings it again. They do that all morning. They do that every late-winter morning. They’ve done that all my life.  I imagine that as spring is coming, it probably has something to do with show-off boys trying to get the attention of the pretty girls.  It’s fun when I see chickadees in the metro area. On a beautiful cold, crisp February morning, it sounds to me like a very optimistic proclamation: “Spring’s here!”  “Spring’s here!  Now, I’m a recovering optimist, but at 10 degrees, that takes a bit of mighty faith to proclaim that “Spring’s Here!”  That’s what my little chickadee buddies do. Every year it seems their optimism pays off. A few more weeks, and it’s a time of new beginnings. As we descend into the darkness and grey of Lent, there is good news. As we ponder the darkness of the world, the chickadees remind us, “Hope’s here!”  “Good News!”  Isn’t that the gist of our job as Christians?  In the cold greyness, we boldly proclaim, “Hope’s here!”  “Good News!”  Just like out little chickadee buddies, those are they only notes we need to know. At the coldest and greyest, we can boldly proclaim it, like our little one-ounce buddies. Go for it!  That’s what we were created to do!  -Pastor Wells