E-Letter #153

Posted by on Jan 30, 2014 in Devotions | 0 comments

I sat hunched over the steering wheel anxiously scanning the gray sky, nervously drumming my fingers on the half-empty coffee cup perched in the console cupholder, and listening to Christmas carols booming from the radio “miraculously” playing an iPod playlist. Two of us, pastor and parishioner, were sitting in stalled traffic, the umpteenth car in a long line of exhaust-puffing cars waiting, no…daring the traffic light to change and allow us impatient commuters to move forward. We were caught in a nautilus of traffic winding our way through the slush-covered streets of a downtown neighborhood to get to the interstate highway, and I was worried about my travel companion who would shortly need her post-surgery pain medication.


The season’s first snow is something to be savored and celebrated, I thought as I recalled a childhood where we eagerly rushed to frost-covered windows to catch a glimpse of the first snowflakes. In our neighborhood, the child who stood outside, mouth wide open to catch this intitial icy offering of the playful Creator God of the Seasons “earned” points which we tracked the entire season.  I do not think we did anything with those points except nudge each other at the bus stop and whisper through chapped lips, “Whaddya up to now?”


There is nothing like the first snow! The heavens open and shower the earth with shimmery white snowflakes, each a unique design, like vintage tatted doilies.  The first snow… always the first snow, the lacey one time gift of the Divine Crocheter, is treasured like the biblical pearl of great price. A child swaddled in a winter jacket, snowpants, wool hat, mittens, scarf, and boots, quickly learns to shield his eyes from the sun’s brightness and listen to the unspoken promises of creation’s cottony softness pillowing toward the earth. “I am here!  Just for you!” God whispers through chapped lips, and the child is entranced by a divine love more brilliant than the frozen diamond prisms cascading from a cloudless robin’s-egg blue sky.


It finds you…the grace of enchantment; that fleeting moment shared by children and revellers, pastors and parishioners caught in traffic jams, lovers and contemplatives, artists and poets, anyone for whom 1 + 1 never equals 2. The first snow…winter’s bounty…the initial icy offering of the God of the Seasons…the pearlescent gift of Love that came to earth in the bleak midwinter in David’s City.  The blue-cold baby of Bethlehem filled the frigid night air with his cries; the very cries that would one day  pierce the cold night air swirling around Golgotha.


What Wondrous Love is this, O my soul, O my soul!