Is it a month or just a means of moving forward?
My apologies in advance to all of my friends who are born in the month of March, but if months were put in order of favorites, this one wouldn’t make my top ten. It is one of the snowiest, wettest, and messiest months of the year. There is nothing pretty about melting snow, particularly if it continues to accumulate! Windshield wiper fluid becomes as essential as a morning coffee for most commuters. If you couldn’t tell, I am not a fan of March.
March’s one redeeming quality may be the saying that is often attributed to the month, “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” I like lions and lambs. I like them in real life and I like what they symbolize. Lions point to power while lambs point to hope. Lions are the king of the jungle with a mighty roar, and lambs are disarming with cuteness. Lions appear to be the natural enemy of the lamb, just as power often undermines real hope. The picture of the lion laying down with the lamb is an enduring image of peace and reminds us that power and hope are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
The prophet Isaiah eluded to this unlikely combination of predator and prey in Isaiah 11:6:
“The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.”
In this imagery, the prophet would foretell of the kind of Messiah that awaited. It would not be what they expected a powerful Messiah to look like. It is by nature, by the ways of the world, that the powerful shall overcome the vulnerable, but instead the prophet would paint with words a vision of something far more beautiful: dominion rather than domination; celebration rather than winners and losers; praying rather than preying. This is the month that will lead us to Easter.
Maybe life is more like March. It is easy to get lost in the miserable, but if I am honest and I am willing to look at every day, March is not more awful than it is good. It is a way forward. Someone said that March is the month where if you stand in the sun you can feel the hope of spring, but if you stand in the shade, you are reminded of winter. Same month, just depends on where you stand.
This March, I am going to embrace the Lion and the Lamb, my power and hope, my peace and potential … and do my best to stand in the sun every opportunity I can!