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Longing for snow . . . and more.

One of the things I so love about our move from the Deep South to Virginia is the experience of winter snow. I’m enchanted by the radical change that takes place around me when everything is coated in white. (My Flickr page is overflowing with attempts to capture that fascination.) The D.C. area doesn’t get a lot of it, but it shows up now and then.

However, over the last couple of weeks, the wintry delight has eluded us. It’s been forecast several times, but always shifted away from our area. Each time, I found myself somewhat mystified and a bit troubled by how frustrated, disheartened and disappointed I felt. Recently, I wrote a dear friend that I longed for a deep snow, for “the world buried in white, slow to a stop and just rest.” In her wonderful and insightful voice, she wrote back: “I wish it would snow too--or at least that the world would be still and quiet and suddenly possessed of unearthly beauty.”

Ah. Unearthly beauty. That's it. Beneath my longing for snow is a greater, aching longing for just that.

I long for that more-than-earth, for that full and complete world that exists just beyond the dark mirror through which we now gaze. I long for grass so true it hurts my now-earth feet and a sun that burns so glorious it razes this skin of death and failing and frees my body to be as it was meant to be. I long for a world ruled by love, just-ness, right-ness. I long for always-joy and breathlessness. I long for unearthly beauty.

I suppose what I really long for is God’s rule of Love, Light and Grace, for the Kingdom-come that overtakes and possesses this Kingdom-coming. It is at times like these that I am grateful for Paul's words to the Romans, because I, like the “created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next,” for that release into those “glorious times ahead”:
All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy. [Romans 8:18-25 Message]
So, bring on the snow. Oh, let it snow.

(Image: a snow shower turns my “backyard” into a rather enchanted place)