Friday, February 22, 2013

seeing in snow


another snowfall.

in just a week it will be march and yet winter continues to come. come hard. marching forward. there is no halt.  no holding.  no winding down. no letting up. no light at the end of this long, frozen tunnel.

the novelty of snow-things feels rather frayed today.  worn thin.  shovel rests against garage wall a bit slumped. tired sleds abandoned in backyard. soggy boots piled high at back door. dirty mittens missing their match.  scarves unravelling and abandoned in basket. and, of course, that grimy, grimy car covered in the slush and salt of severe weather.  everything subdued.  all things silently stark. color drained, dull. hushed cold, quiet.  woman, slightly weary.

another snowfall.


i stomp into my boots and bundle up in the down of my coat -- slipping on gloves and hat, my second skin.  and as i stomp and bundle and slip, i am faced with the choice:  embrace this day? greet this gift? or grumble at the Giver? door opens and the question hovers in the rush of icey air.  fist desiring to shake at sky.  flakes falling at my feet.  it's a choice. and it's mine for the moment. mine for the making.

and this white stuff reminds me.  it reminds me that we have choices every day. each day. in all sorts of storms.  do i allow something which seems so much, so heavy, so hard,  even something so hurtful,  to keep me from the gifts that He has left along the way.  i can claim blinding snow, but is it truly a blizzard or do i just choose not to see.

what has the Giver left for me today?

where are His gifts along my way?

blessings can be lost in the continuous swirling of this season. but, seeing is a choice.  even in blizzard conditions.

i have to remind myself. often.

i can claim blindness or i can claim His goodness.

and this reminding makes me think of the israelites when they rebelled and grumbled against the Giver. they shook fists at the flurries of falling manna.  tired and tempted. the novelty worn out, the gratitude worn off. in ezekiel God condemns israel as a "rebellious house."  He says she has "eyes to see, and ears to hear but does not hear." (ezekiel 12:2).  israel had a choice, but she shut her eyes.  she willfully went blind. and what about us? even in the midst of blizzards, God offers up the beautiful.  do i believe that?  am i israel?  am i going to allow myself to freeze in the feelings of winter frustration?

dear one, what is your winter right now?  what are you buried under at this moment?

in matthew 13 the disciples asked Jesus why he spoke in parables. and He answered them, saying:

“‘you will be ever hearing but never understanding;
    you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
for this people’s heart has become calloused;
    they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’

but blessed are your eyes because they see..."

i don't know about you, but i want blessed eyes, not blind eyes.

Jesus is clear.  if we won't see and hear what God gives, the time will come when we can't any longer.  when we willfully choose to look away, when we continually refuse to open wide, we will eventually grow more and more blind.  call it judgment.  call it justice.  call it just plain laziness. for it is only in the embracing and exercising of our spiritual eyes that we learn to truly see God's gifts.  even in a blizzard. especially in the blizzard.

oh, am i israel?

windshield wipers swipe furiously to keep up with the winter whoosh rushing past me.  i peer out at a road covered in white.  Lord, let me see.  allow me see what you bring even in the midst of this wintry mix...this mess...this momentary madness.  minnesota march a week away and all remains in the milky shades of faded color.

give me eyes that see your goodness.  your gifts.

remove the blinders from my eyes, that i may see your beauty.
remove the grumble from my heart, that i may see your grace.

wash any trace of blind rebellion from me...and leave me white.  white like winter.

























12 comments:

Melanie said...

It really is all a choice. How we look at life. You really learn to appreciate that choice here in MN in the winter. I re-learn the lesson every winter.

DiJo said...

I love this insight Jody.. And, I love the reminder about it is our choice to "grumble at the Giver!" or embrace the joy He has all around us if we choose to see! A lesson for all of us from 1 to 100! Thankful you can see the beauty through your lens, even on the days when you wish the Magnolia's were blooming all around you!

Love,
Diana

Jamie Molle said...

In the midst of my own grumbling week, this posting left me in a pile of tears. Thanks for your authenticity and insight into the heart of man - and the heart of God. Bless you - jamie

myfourgems said...

dear friend, you have me crying this morning. my winter is wearing me thin, and i am having a hard time choosing to see His Sonshine and daily manna provisions. but they are there if i choose to see. thanks for the reminder, insight, and beautiful imagery in photographs. love and miss you always. xo shel

Anonymous said...

Jody,

I have NEVER commented on a blog before, but I wanted to tell you that you never know who your words might touch. As someone walking through her own "blizzard" with a wounded heart and spirit, I truly appreciate your perspective. In the midst of a storm, it is hard to see the blessings--but they are always there. In my search for the sun, all I need to do is look upward. Your writing has been an inspiration and help to me. Thank you.

Amy

jodymcnatt said...

"re-learn"...that makes me laugh after our conversation last week. i promise to "re-learn" with you next year...in the mean time, so glad we can RELYon the one who REDEEMS.

jodymcnatt said...

thanks diana rouse for making sure i have a fantastic new lens with which to better see His beauty! =)

jodymcnatt said...

hi jamie! so glad to know you are reading along! thank you for your comment...i, too, have been so convicted of being quick to grumble. always thankful for His grace.

jodymcnatt said...

yikes...readying YOUR words in this comment brought ME to tears, shel. how i miss you and wish i could be there to winter along with you. praying manna for you today...His provision in this very moment...and, as always, peace. so grateful that we serve a God who allows us to find HIs fullness in the thinness of life. when we look. love you.

jodymcnatt said...

thank you for leaving your very first blog comment amy! =) i love comments! love to know who is reading and how they are connecting. i think wounded hearts are the hardest kind of blizzard...i'd take a minnesota snow storm over a wounded heart any day honey. praying healing over your heart and spirit, even as i type. i really do believe though, when we have to search hard for the blessing, we see more the true beauty. but it's not easy...and it does take time.

Jamie Molle said...

Jody, I came upon this last week, and thought it would resonate with you as we wait not only for spring but for Easter..... "As I sink my last bulbs into the ground, I always remember E.B. White's preface to "Onward and Upward in the Garden." This collection of gardening essays by his wife, Katherine S. White, was published several years after hear death. Recalling how she planned and directed the final laying out of her bulb garden, E.B. White concluded: "As the years went by and age overtook her, there was something comical yet touching in her bedraggled appearance on this awesome occasion - the small, hunched-over figure, her studied absorption in the implausible notion that there would be yet another spring, oblivious to the ending of her own days, which she knew perfectly well was near at hand, sitting there with her detailed chart under those dark skies in the dying October, calmly plotting the resurrection."

jodymcnatt said...

jamie, oh my. i love this. you have inspired me to go look up these writings of katherine s. white. i have always loved e.b. white, didn't know about his wife's writing. this is lovely. it is the resurrection which, no matter what our circumstances or how dark our days, give us the HOPE to keep planting. simply lovely. thank you for sharing.