Sunday night, as I walked out of church, a large, fluffy snowflake brushed my cheek as it whirled through the air, nearing the end of its pell-mell tumble from the clouds far above me. And I smiled.
When I was very little, snow was magical. My brother and I built snow forts, went sledding once or twice, drank hot chocolate, made snow angels, and pretended that we were Arctic explorers. As I grew up, snow lost its magic. I looked forward to it only because it covered all the ugly brown grass and barren trees. Then, at some point in Middle School, I liked it because it meant the slim-next-to-non-existent chance of a snow day. I think that happened maybe once. My school believedthat if you could somehow get to school, be it by car, skis, or helicopter, there was no reason to cancel school. And then I got older and went to college…in Iowa. My first winter there I couldn’t figure out why everyone hated snow; why they all seemed to dread it. And then the snow came…and never left. The piles of snow grew into mounds, and then into hills, and, eventually, into modest mountains of snow, as storm after storm came and the sun refused to shine (or at least to shine warmly). Apparently, UNike snow in Colorado, snow in other places – like Iowa, falls and then stays…for the rest of the winter! In Colorado, for those of you who don’t know, it’s usually melted and gone by the end of the week.Anyway, it was snowing as we left church. It was dark, and the lights were hitting the snow just right, making it almost glow, definitely twinkle. As cliché as this is, the world around me reminded me of a snow globe. The snowflakes were large, and it was coming down thick – as if all the angels in heaven were having a pillow fight. I was excited for everything to be covered, for the thick layer of fairy dust to completely cover the world surrounding me in sparkling bits of snow crystals.
And, like occasionally happens, I got to thinking. The world, the bare, ugly world got a make-over. All of the spindly branches and prickly bits of grass and naked bushes were given a new look. The snow came and covered them and lent them beauty. And suddenly the dead world became beautiful. The imperfections were all gone, or were emphasized by the snow, and those imperfections were somehow made beautiful.
I realized this was true of me, too. Not with snow, of course, but with Jesus. He comes and covers me, lending me His beauty where I have so little of my own. His covering makes me beautiful and welcomed by His Father. And the amazing thing about Jesus’ covering is, like snow, if I stay under it long enough, and soak it in, at some point, the beauty He lends me will have become part of me and, as the weather gets warmer, things will start to grow. And soon pansies and roses and everything delicate and fragrant and gorgeous is growing from what had once been ugly me.