As I look out of my window at the Tulip tree, one week before Spring, I am both thankful and, a little regretful that the blooms are already covering the lawn with a beautiful carpet of white and pink.

It seems as though they began to bloom, in full, a day ago. Our thrill of their heart-pleasing beauty comes less than once a year (some years a late frost prematurely wipes out the blooms).

In God’s world – the one in which we live and breathe, we are often faced with celebrating rare beauty and goodness in a person who’s life seems “unnaturally” short. Rare beauty seems so often to be brief beauty – a brilliant, but life-changing encounter. It is like the shooting star you saw streaking across the sky in your backyard when you were 12 years old. How much more thrilling are the lives that display a portion of God’s splendor that we will never see, in that form, again. Does the Sovereign God see a short life as a failed life, a brief beauty as a failed beauty? These moments, these places, these people are gifts – given to change us forever. We receive them and observe them with thankful hearts – knowing that they are fragments of the glory of the eternal and unfading God.