April has always been one of my favorite months, perhaps second only to October. (I guess I like temperate weather.) I love it when spring bursts forth, the days grow warmer and longer, and the showers usher in vibrant flowers and lush green grass.
Yet, the last week or so, I’ve been struck by the dark side of April. T. S. Eliot famously wrote, “April is the cruelest month.” This seems to be a month in history with more than its share of massacres and large numbers of people perishing. I realize that while I enjoy the beauty of April, many people around the world have heavy hearts and are swept up in grief and painful memories.
The anniversaries of two of the worst events in American history are both this week. The Columbine high school students were massacred on April 20, 1999 and Oklahoma City was bombed on April 19, 1995 (as revenge for the Waco seige on the same date two years earlier). The Titanic hit an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912. And one of the most evil people the world has ever known, Adolph Hitler, was born on April 20, 1889. On April 10th this year, the top leadership of the nation of Poland were all killed in a horrific plane crash, on their way to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre of 22,000 Poles in April, 1940.
Usually, April is the month we stop to remember the death of Jesus and celebrate His resurrection. His victory over sin and death doesn’t give us easy answers to this world’s senseless violence and loss (there aren’t any), but it does give us hope that someday things will be made right.