Saturday, December 25, 2010

Whiter than snow

To the door I marched, flipping on the outside spotlight just like when I was a little kid. A smile spread across my face, erasing all the fatigue of Christmas preparations. Filtering down from above, small white flakes fell toward the earth, turning a green yard into a landscape awash in white. It was beautiful. The snow-lined trees were now silhouetted against the dark sky. I lingered a while, watching. And then, opening the door, I stepped into the chill, spread my arms wide and lifted my chin to the sky. I took a deep, cleansing breath as the heavy, wet snow landed on my eyelids. Leaving the noise of chatter inside, I reveled in the tranquil and silent snowfall. The world seemed to slow a bit, as if wanting to silence the frenzy of Christmas day. But alas, I reluctantly returned to the climate-controlled indoors and participated once more in post-dinner conversation.

We awoke on this Christmas morn to a dusting of snow. It wasn't much but the ground was covered. It was fitting for the holiday. As the day went on and despite frequent snow showers, a gentle rise in temperature rendered my wonderful, holiday snow to disappear, changing my yard back to dismal brown. The weatherman had reported no expected accumulation so I wasn't surprised. Yet, I secretly praying he was wrong.

With dinner safely tucked into the oven, I looked to see the snow pick up again. Ah-ha! Brown was again giving way to white. My pulse raced. I excused myself, changed into tights and slipped my anxious feet into  running shoes.

"See you in a little while," I uttered to whoever was in earshot. Down the long driveway I went, my feet making fresh prints in the snow. The snow was gentle, the wind still. The neighbor's cows played a game of frolic as I passed by. I think they liked the snow as much as me. Further on my journey, a hunter emerged from the woods carrying his unfired gun. We nodded to each other as we went our separate ways. I was alone with my thoughts, the cool temperatures clearing my mind. I felt alive, thankful for the moment.

All too soon, I stepped back into the warm glow of the house. It was dusk and high time to put on the final touches to Christmas dinner. As we sat down together as a family, the fellowship was savored as much as the food. There we were, me in my running clothes, Grandpa still wearing his own hunting gear, my niece in her new shirt, a Santa hat perched atop Skip's head, and the others in various stages of dress, sharing the beauty of the occasion. As snow continued to fall, it was what Christmas dreams are made of.

The forecast has now changed and the "snow showers" prediction has been replaced with snow measured in inches. I hope they are right this time. I could use another day of whiteness. For me, the snow demands a time of reflection. A time of quiet. And how perfect to have it on Christmas.

When the Christ-child was born, he came to a world darkened by sin. Atonement was necessary. And atonement is what the Lord Jesus provided as he hung on that cross 33 years later. The temple veil was ripped in two and direct access to the Father granted. As the blood sacrifices covered sin in ages past, the blood sacrifice of the Perfect Son covered our sin. No longer are we black-marked. Rather, we are washed in the redeeming red stream and purified as snow, the whitest snow ever.

Rejoice with every flake that falls. Revel in the earth's white garment. Be reminded, even when you need to shovel it.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
   says the LORD.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
   they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
   they shall be like wool. (Isaiah 1:17-19)


Rick Gray said...

I have to say that Christmas seemed so much more special to me this year. We also had a white Christmas and it is still snowing now on Monday. Maybe it was that alot of my family was out of town and there seemed to be less hustling around. I could relax and enjoy conversation. Tammy and I even put together a puzzle at her brother's house. It was great. One of the guys that runs with us on Sunday mornings is from Egypt. Yesterday was his first time ever to run in snow and it was beautiful. It was still dark outside and we were running through neighborhoods looking at houses lit up with lights and Christmas decorations. Simply beautiful against a backdrop of white snow. I think it very fitting how a little snow seems to clear our soul.

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

AH...sounds simply wonderful! We actually only ended up getting 2-4 inches so I am jealous of your snow. Still, it made thing white and beautiful and I got to run in the falling flakes. YIPEE!!!

I'm taking my indoor distance kids and even some sprinters for an adventure run on Th. We are doing the Terrapin 10 mile loop. It will knock the socks right off some of them. Should be fun!

Rick Gray said...

I hope that loop includes Fat Man's Misery. They need to experience that little bit of fun. Even with the warming temps that are coming our way, I imagine you will still have some snow up high. I know you will enjoy yourself and when you look back at some of them, just say "are you ok". Be sure to say that in a nice little sweet voice that comes off just a slight sarcastic. They will love you for it! Your kids next race is January 8th, so I imagine that this is their last long run and I imagine that Coach Trittipoe is getting them ready. Enjoy!

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

I will. We had a 2 hr trail run in snow and ice today but stopped to make snow angels. So much fun! But after a speed workout on the track yesterday, I am getting tired! We are sledding tomorrow so that will be our hill workout. :) Gotta love it.

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