I love the snow
I love the snow. I know I’m in the minority opinion on this. But I love it, even knowing the chaos a snowstorm brings to lots of people. It causes danger on roads and sidewalks. Poor, homeless, and elderly people are vulnerable to its cold. There are these amazing staff and volunteers at St. Paul who are called out of bed long before dawn to shovel our sidewalks and plow our parking lots to make it safe for us to be here. I’m grateful for them and worry for safety and warmth for others. But I still love the snow.
Let me be a bit of a snow-vangelist for a bit. One of snow’s gifts to us is that it reminds us that God is God, and we are humans. Snow disrupts our plan and reorganizes our schedules. Sometimes we need this kind of de-centering from being the rotational center of our own galaxies. Snow reminds us of our place in the order of things, beloved creatures in a wonderful complex creation, formed by a brilliant creator.
There is a reason for snow. So much depends on it. It insulates and protects our soil. The long cold days keep pesky bugs from thriving. For those of us who live in northern latitudes, snow is a necessary part of life. Every time it snows, I think there’s a chance that the climate is not quite as messed up as I fear. We’ve still got a chance to protect it for our children and grandchildren.
And then there’s the beauty of it. It’s like a sea of diamonds sparkling as the sun shines on it. There’s a miraculous quiet and stillness to it. In the coming days, for those of lucky enough to be near snow, open your eyes to its beauty. Maybe even give thanks to God as you watch the snow fall, this God who graciously showered it upon us. “For it is God who thunders wondrously with God’s voice; God does great things that we cannot comprehend. For to the snow God says, ‘Fall on the earth.’” (Job 37:5-6).
I’ve learned that if you want to build a friendship with someone you disagree with, a good beginning is to just play together. The same is true with snow. Snow’s best quality is playfulness. Even if you can’t ski or make a snow angel, you might be able to make a tiny snowman, or throw a pile of snow into the air like confetti. Play, like Sabbath rest, is an act of trust and praise.
We can’t change the weather, but we can choose gratitude and delight in what God has made. Here’s what you can do, next time it’s snowing, step outside, stretch out your arms to catch a snowflake on your sleeve, and wonder at its marvelously unique pattern. Or, if you really want to take in God’s stunningly joyful creation, look up into the sky and try to catch that snowflake on your tongue.