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.
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.