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I love the snow

Pastoral Messages | January 17, 2019

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.

Sara Olson-Smith, associate pastor

9 Comments on “I love the snow”

  • Joyce Nuernberger

    February 1, 2019 at 10:34 am

    🙂 I like snow. Though the temperatures were extreme this past week, the snow was beautiful. I need to live where there are 4 seasons, so that I get snow. Snow isn’t just for Christmas. My aunt made a banner for me that hangs on the back of our front door when I put away the Christmas decorations. It has the silhouette of evergreen trees standing in a blanket of snow against a beautiful blue sky and silver moon. The words at the bottom simply say “A time for silence” The banner stays up until Lent.

  • Anke Maass

    January 20, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    Simple thoughts of how lovely the snow is….from childhood to Now! Thanks for the reminder

  • Diane Nauman

    January 19, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    What a beautiful, snowy, peaceful, and bright Saturday……..an Iowa Winter Wonderland. Thank-you, Sara, for your positive message which is being read on this amazing winter’s day . Now……….out to make some snow angels!! 🙂

  • Sheila Mesick

    January 18, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    Remembering the winters of my childhood, when winter in Iowa meant a snow covered surface all winter long. Big flakes of snow would fall bringing each day to quiet and life to the words, Be still and know that I am God.

  • Debby Reed

    January 17, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    Erica would have loved this! She loved the snow too. Last year when I asked her if she would come out and help me shovel if we stopped to get her a shovel of her own, she said, “I will, – if we can get a shovel that will match my eyes.” One of her favorite songs was Let It Snow

  • Georgeann Kreiter

    January 17, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    I’ve always loved the snow and now I know why. I’ve learned it’s not because I’m Scandinavian and a northerner but because God does his best to protect our world if we would just do our best to help out! Let it snow!!

  • Tim Sondag

    January 17, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    Me too! I find comfort in it’s fresh white blanket and quiet it brings to the outdoors. Beauty from god!

  • Julia Bryant

    January 17, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    I love the snow too. I use to play with my school kids all the time. I own a very large tobbaggon. It is great for the long hills. Fits 5 people. Julia

  • Dixie Kutzbach

    January 17, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    This is beautiful, Sarah, and reminds me of the pure joy snow has brought my grandchildren, as well as my children and myself! Sometimes we need to look at things through the eyes of a child.

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