Tag Archives: snow

Covered

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Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Ps.32:1.

Snow covers Colorado.  It started to fall soft and delicate last evening, while we celebrated our pre-Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa.  Tiny snowflakes swirled their way through the gathering dusk.  We watched them dance from under Christmas tree warmth.  Then we slept deep as the flakes swelled thicker and stronger, mounding heavy white upon the surfaces of our city.

Snow washes fresh and clean.  Snow covers soft and still.

Snow is a covering.  It strips away the grunge of daily grime.  It falls soft, dusting a blanket of icy cleansing, transforming neighborhood into wonderland.

Covering and cleansing.  That is what our dark stains cry for.  That is how Incarnation reached down for us – by covering us, cleansing us, causing the redeemed to dazzle with the purity of driven snow.

The Covering and Cleansing of Incarnate Grace falls down to grimy earth through Advent. He falls upon us, soft and still, unobtrusive, yet transforming everything that has ever been or ever will be, all at once, for all time –

White Christmas.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Ps.51:7.

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Joy

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Many generations ago, simple shepherds watched over their sheep on a hillside on just another night.  Suddenly, the light of impending Joy dazzled their humble lives – and lit up all of history.

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:9-11.

Yesterday we returned from a snow trip to Vail. We are tired, but we hold a new collection of white-dusted memories.  Tonight we light the candle of Joy.  It is a pink candle.  In advent tradition, purple is a somber color, pregnant with heavy meaning.  But pink is exuberant, overflowing with life.

Joy to the world.  The Lord is come…

…Let earth receive her King…

…Let every heart prepare Him room…

…And heaven and nature sing…

…And heaven and nature sing…

…And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

As tiny snowflakes dance over Vail, we abide under the jagged nearness of the Colorado Rockies.  We eat, sleep, play, rest, connect under its untamed shelter.  Nothing sings God’s glory like a wild mountain range coated with falling snow.  Nothing invites childish glee like an expanse of fresh powder.  Heaven and nature sing.  In the midst of Advent season, we roll away together for the simple purpose of enjoying the sweet wonder glowing in a snowy day.  Let every heart prepare Him room.  Snowball fight, flying intertubes, snow angels, hot cocoa, gondola, hot tub.  Joy to the world.

Immanuel-God-With-Us sought us in our heaviness and lifted us into freedom. The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Mt.4:16.  He burst through His own grave to save us from ours.  It is a gift too great, too infinite, to bear on fragile shoulders.  Why, O why do we not crumble back to dust under the weight of it?  Always and only because the Gift is wrapped in Grace.  The proper response to Incarnation is infinite, overflowing, staggering, explosive, rollicking JOY JOY JOY JOY.

…Joy, unspeakable Joy, an overflowing well, no tongue can tell…

We are human, and therefore composed of dust and breath.  We cannot live on the high plane of Joy to which the gift of Incarnation forever beckons.  But we can, and ought, to revel in earthly Joys.  We should pursue them wholeheartedly in God’s name and to His glory.  (Snowball fight, flying intertubes, snow angels, hot cocoa, gondola, hot tub.)  Simple family laughter is a profound form of worship.

…Joy, unspeakable joy, rises in my soul, never lets me go…

What do you do to light the candle of advent Joy?

Clearing

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Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Is.30:21.

I have been blog-silent for almost a week.  I sat down to write last night, but the words did not fit together. Rolling my eyes, I snapped my computer shut at 11pm.  I sat still on my couch for a moment, massaging my temples.  Then, this – You aren’t writing your heart.  You are filling space.  That is not My calling for you.  

I do not want to write empty words, but the words that mean something to me right now are unfinished.  They are disconnected strands.  I think I might see the tapestry that God is weaving, and it is dazzling, but so far unresolved.

Today severe wind whips snow violently through our city. Dreamy Scott sits on a plane to (of all places) Oahu, Hawaii for a meeting.  In a few minutes I will bundle myself and my kids in snow clothes and shovel away the blizzard’s heavy droppings that coat my driveway and walkway.  It will be hard work to clear a path. Sometimes blogging through an unfinished story is like that.  Truth and life buried under a pile of emotional weariness.

We emerge, a bit dazed, from a week of intensity, both exhilarating and excruciating.  The Lord is building an edifice of grace in our family, our church, our city; but it is hard work to clear the heaviness and find the way. We slog through phone calls and meetings as we sort through how the Lord wants us to move forward into the clear calling He has on our little family.  Dreamy Scott and I shrug blankly some moments, then bend our knees, listen, act.  The Enemy (who mistakenly believes he has a claim on us) creates obstacle after obstacle, blinds us with smoke screens, fills us with doubt.  We choose to let it fall beside the path.  We set our faces like flint, confident that if we keep our eyes on our mission, the Lord will clear a straight path.

I want to share details, but they are not yet clear.  The picture is not in focus; it is fuzzy, bleary, but drenched in sparkling grace.  That is why I tried to write empty words last night. Instead, I write vague ones (for which I am sorry), but they are my heart.  I will tell you more specifics as the Lord pulls the pixels together.

Yesterday I spoke with Julie Gorman; new friend, lovely woman of God and Executive Director of Women Inspired.  We dreamed together, prayed together, planned together.  (As the Lord clears our vision and shows us how to build Women Inspired in our city, I will record it here.  I hope you will join us.)  She prayed these words over me:

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Is.30:21.

How could she know that that very verse has been life and breath to me over the past four years as He asked us to do hard things for His glory and our healing?  I have not thought of that verse once this week, so her reminder was a lightning bolt of mercy.  It was not only Julie who spoke this verse’s invitation to faithful surrender; it was the Holy Spirit, reminding me that underneath the heavy wreckage of dreams deferred and reborn, there is a pathway to glory.  He keeps His promises; He whispers the way to hearts attune.

Sometimes we live in seasons of unfinished stories that crave the kiss of Isaiah 30:21. Perhaps these are merely opportunities for a deeper grace, pathways into a mighty work of God.  He will clear the way before us.

Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Is.41:10.