View From Skis

Oh joy! Today after too many days indoors, I was able to get out for a run on our old garage-sale cross country skis. What a difference some time outdoors makes to one’s perspective!

Usually by the end of winter I hate snow, though I enjoy it for a while. This snow has seemed an enemy from the start. Since it arrived we’ve been battling it, clearing the driveway, negotiating our snow-packed hilly roads, cleaning up from the constant in and out, snow clothes on and off cycle with many young children. On Christmas Eve we managed to make it in to my parents’ for a family celebration, but when we returned we found an abandoned Jeep deep in the ditch in front of our house, where it had landed after shearing off our mailbox. We were worried since there was a baby’s car seat on the smashed-in passenger side, but when the driver appeared on Christmas with a tractor to retrieve his vehicle, we learned that no one had been hurt. (Miraculously, it turned out, as he, a limestone worker, had been taking some carved items to a Christmas celebration, and they had flown through the car and out the window, but did not hit the driver or his son.)

So, no, until today I have not enjoyed this snow, nor even been able to look at it and say as I often do, “Well, at least it’s pretty.”

But this afternoon I was able to go out. With this snow too deep to enjoy breaking trails on the farm, I headed to the road, and made for one of the nearby scenic overlooks. In 45 minutes only a handful of cars passed me, so it was wonderfully still, gliding alone except for my dog, Tucker. Complementing the bare trees, the gray clouds formed a perfect winter sky, and the harvested fields were vast stretches of unbroken whiteness. Yes, it was beautiful. Yes, I remembered, we need this snow to water the earth, to help the ground store moisture for the coming growing season. And then, with this morning’s communion service fresh in my mind, I thought of these well-known passages:

Isaiah 1: 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Ps 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Whiter than snow. That’s pretty hard to imagine. New snow is the whitest thing I can think of, but here we are told that when we are washed, cleansed, forgiven by our Savior, our sins become whiter than snow. Do you know that snow acts as an air purifier? As snowflakes fall through the air, they, like raindrops, capture dust and contaminants from the atmosphere, cleansing it.

Thank You, Lord, for this visual reminder of Your work in us. And I will try to be patient with the snow.


Allan said…
Can a non-Christian say 'Merry Christmas' to a believer?
Why not?
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.
Best wishes for the New Year.

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