We have had very little snow this winter. If you live in a four-season climate you know that snow makes winter bearable. A covering of snow softens the starkness of the landscape, like a blanket wrapped around the world offering a chilly but welcome comfort.
Being without snow has made the starkness of the landscape communicate a hopelessness and death. We Christians know that death is not without hope, but when the view outside your window is of a colorless world, the hopelessness gets a toehold. And when you step into a beautiful sunny “fall” day and are chilled to your bones instantly, you feel deceived and robbed. Winter wears you down and wants you to think that death is the ultimate reality.
Yesterday morning, In the midst of this deceitful weather, I yoked up Roxie for a walk and left the house full of the slumber and ache of winter. Almost immediately, I saw a few small flakes of snow falling to the ground, like a stray flecks of glitter suspended in the frigid air. “Thank you Lord, for the snow,” I prayed, my being frozen, body, mind and spirit. As we crossed the street into the park, I looked into the distance. I could see what looked like mist in the distance–but it was too cold for mist. It was a snow so fine and delicate, it looked like a garland of mist hanging over the pond. “Thank you Lord, for the snow,” I prayed again, my heart lifting a bit at the sight. As we continued walking, the density of the snow mist increased, so that I could tell it was snowing by looking only a few feet ahead of me. “Thank you Lord, for the snow,” I sighed, enjoying the feel of it on my face, the swirls and movement of the air that the snow was reflecting.
As we finished our walk and I stood in front of the kitchen window preparing breakfast, the snow flakes became bigger, came on more quickly, and actually started to accumulate. As I cooked, I was able to watch the snow fall and swirl, dance on the roof of my neighbor’s purple house, decorate the fences and driveways with sparkling powder. I sat down to eat, and the sun came out with the snow still falling, lighting the flakes with blue fire. Throughout it all, I kept thanking God for the snow and let that gratitude lighten my heart.
As I finished my breakfast, I checked a weather radar for our area. There was a tiny patch of precipitation showing right over Kenosha. I felt as though our little snowstorm had been staged just for me. And I thanked God and was glad.
Lord, send your Holy Spirit to light my heart today by whatever means necessary! Thank you for the sun, the snow and the reminder that death itself is not without life because of your Son, Jesus Christ. Help me to remember, help me to rejoice. Amen.