(musical notes) In the bleak midwinter,
Frosty winds made moan.
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone. (more musical notes)
Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Hold everything! This is mid-April, and yet the frosty winds are moaning across the roof and echoing down the chimney. The earth is not really hard as iron because just a few days ago there were green spears of tulips and daffodils and allium making their way up through the soil. But the water outside IS like a stone. Drifts are over my knees, and if I dig down into those drifts, I can actually feel the textures of the different types of snow that has fallen. Sort of like an archeological dig. On Sunday the strangest snow fell. It was like sugar. Not crystals, but like tiny little balls of ice - a snow-cone machine gone haywire - that made everything more slippery. Remember in school we were told that the Eskimo people had over 20 different words for snow? I wonder what their word for that snow would be? And who do I ask? Would even Google know? It's a mystery. And isn't it wonderful that there are still mysteries in this world? Mysteries to keep us thinking and thankful and wondering and being grateful that there is always more to learn? And isn't that a humbling thought? We don't know it all, and never will.
And that's where grace comes in. We can't know the width and breadth of God's grace - it's a mystery and beyond our limited understanding - but because we have faith, we trust that it is there, ready and waiting for us. We don't have to dig for it, or try to earn it by some mighty deed (like shoveling the driveway). It is there like the manna was there for the children of Israel. It is here like the freshly fallen snow. There's no fighting it. All we have to do is acknowledge it's presence and accept it with open hands. Just like we've all been accepting the reality of snow in April. Sometimes all we can do is look and wonder and smile. Sit back and watch the miracle of 20 different kinds of snow pile up. And be grateful we are here to see it. And then to be grateful once again when Spring decided to come....for real!
Thank you for the surprise of snow in mid-April.
Thank you for the flowers that wait under the snow,
patient in the knowledge that you will shine your light
and reveal their beauty in due time.
Keep our eyes and ears attuned to your mysteries
so that we can experience gratitude and grace