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Finding God in the Snow

December 18, 2009

It’s snowing in Washington. Not every one likes snow but is it an amazing work of God. He takes a barren winter landscape and creates it anew. I can almost hear the Lord saying, “Behold, I make all things new!”

In the modern world we often walk past the glory of God and hardly notice the gifts that God daily provides. I am mindful of the movie, “The Color Purple”  when the main character “Ceilie” admits she is angry with God. Her friend “Shug” says, “I think God gets mad at us when we walk through a field and miss the color purple.”

 Tonight and tomorrow I don’t want to miss God’s gift. It is true, it comes at the price of cancellations, and other weather related hardships. But MAYBE just maybe, God can get a few of us here on the East Coast to stop, for just a minute and rest a while and behold his glory. Getting snowed in is a wonderful chance to become reacquainted with our family and even our very selves. And just looking out the window and marvelling at the snow as it falls with a hypnotic and calming steadiness can be a prayer if we think of God who sends it. Where  ever you are on this planet, don’t walk through life and miss the glory of God!

In the Book of Sirach there is a beautiful and poetic description of God and the majestic work he creates even in the “dead” of Winter. Enjoy this excerpt from Sirach and spiritually reflect on the glory of God in winter.

  God in Winter:

  • A word from God  drives on the north wind.
  • He scatters frost like so much salt;
  • It shines like blossoms on the thornbush.
  • Cold northern blasts he sends that turn the ponds to lumps of ice.
  • He freezes over every body of water,
  • And clothes each pool with a coat of mail.
  • He sprinkles the snow like fluttering birds.
  • Its shining whiteness blinds the eyes,
  • The mind is baffled by its steady fall.
  • Sirach 43, selected verses

Enjoy this video that recalls for us the joy and wonder of a snowfall that many of experienced when we were young:

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Comments (19)

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  1. TeaPot562 says:

    My wife is fervently in prayer that God will act to delay the Senate forced-march passage of Sen. Reid’s Health Care Reform bill that no other senator has had the opportunity to review. Maybe the snowstorm in that region of the USA is an answer to prayer. Praise the Lord!

    • Yes, I have avoided the Health Care Debate issue but am surely praying that Senator Nelson’s insistance that no health care bill fund abortion. It is also troubling about the rush to pass a bill that few have read. And the latest version is not available to be read and will not be released for that purpose.

  2. Katherine G ERT says:

    I am snowed in at the hospital whoopee! I could get to go home this morning or I could be stuck here for 3 days, what fun. Be careful if you drive anywhere – go really slow!

  3. Nick says:

    Gloria Dei!

  4. Carlos says:

    “Getting snowed in is a wonderful chance to become reacquainted with our family”

    I’m in the exact opposite end of the spectrum. Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday and I haven’t seen my family in 10 months, so today I was flying home. I don’t think it’s happening now, so it’s hard for me to appreciate that snow, regardless of how much I’ve tried.

  5. Sorry for that! 🙁 I guess they’ve closed the airport

  6. david s says:

    He sends forth his word to the earth;
    swiftly runs his command.
    He showers down snow white as wool,
    He scatters hoarfrost like ashes,
    He hurls down hailstones like crumbs,
    The waters are frozen at his touch.

    He sends forth his word and it melts them,
    At the breath of his mouth, the waters flow…

    From Psalm 147, (From memory, sorry for any mistakes)

  7. Maki says:

    I’m snowed in today with my kitties – alone after losing my husband to cancer last month. The quiet is amazing – the world covered in white. I haven’t ever been alone during a snow storm in my life. I hadn’t realized how the snow muffles the sound of everything – covering not just the world with a white blanket but with silence as well. How still and quiet and pure the whole world outside my house is. I will miss mass tonight. I hope by tomorrow the snow is light enough that I can get there! Meanwhile – I sit and watch as the world fills up with silence and snow like a white veil over everything to indeed make all things new!

  8. jan says:

    Oooo – (girlish squeal)! I love this song – you don’t have to be a new-age weirdo to like Enya.

    I really envy you guys your snow, even though I feel sorry for those who can’t travel where they need to be. We get a fair amount of snow here where I live, but it’s been 3 years since it snowed hard like that.

    We had a bit on the road last weekend and on the way to Mass on Sunday morning we found ourselves being a little closer to meeting God face-to-face than we anticipated – but we lived to tell about it!

    Stay warm.

  9. Mrs. Rene O'Riordan says:

    I so agree Msgr. ” What is this life so full of care, we have no time to stop and stare” – we are all in such a hurry to get “there” when in fact “here” is where God has put us, and that out of the greatest love for us and knowing exactly what we need right now. And yes He is like a lover Whose gifts are being ignored and He must be so pleased when one of us stops and says – “well done God that’s brilliant”. I really loved this post, it gave me great joy. Thank you. Blessings – Rene

  10. Linus says:

    More, more, more.

  11. Cynthia BC says:

    My husband and I have spent today feeling like Sisyphus (sp?).

    snow snow snow
    shovel shovel shovel
    snow snow snow
    shovel shovel shovel
    snow snow snow
    shovel shovel shovel

    Then there was the following conversation: (DH = dear husband, DD = dear daughter)
    DH: I don’t think we’re going to church tomorrow.
    DD: But we HAVE to go to church.
    DH: Look at ALL THIS SNOW. We can’t DRIVE anywhere.
    DD: Then we’ll have to WALK.

    Television Announcer: The Archdiocese has granted a dispensation from attending Mass this weekend.
    DH: Church is cancelled!
    DD: *shocked expression*
    DH: We’re staying home tomorrow.
    DD: *wail* but they CAN’T cancel church!
    DH: If we go to church we’ll be the ONLY ONES there. Even the PRIESTS will stay in the rectory.
    DD: *grumble*

    Mind you, this is a child who usually is ready to go home just after Communion, if not after the offering is collected.

  12. Bender says:

    DH: Look at ALL THIS SNOW. We can’t DRIVE anywhere.

    I’ve been in the D.C. area 20 years now, having come from Michigan. You all have come a long way in dealing with snow — something like this in years past would paralyze the region for a week, and it looks like most area roads will be cleared by tomorrow. So, pat yourselves on the back. Still, you have a little way to go yet. At least in my area, most people still haven’t cleared off their cars, much less their walks. By tomorrow (Sunday) it is going to be ten times more difficult to get up because some of that snow is going to turn to ice. Then it will take a week before it is removed.

    DD: Then we’ll have to WALK.
    That’s the spirit!

    There really is a peacefulness and quiet out in snow like this. All the noise of the city and the world just disappears. I would wish that the snow had come a few days later, but perhaps we will still have some (and still white) come Christmas day.

    • Cynthia BC says:

      This morning we watched Mass on TV, after spending a couple of hours shoveling yet MORE snow. My daughter drank hot chocolate; my husband & I reeked of recently-applied Ben-Gay (a medicine-cabinet staple for those over 40) and drank coffee. Rather a cozy way to take in a Mass.

  13. obilo says:

    Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention.

  14. Bruce Dane says:

    Thank you for the wonderful post and the verse from Sirach. I’m a fan of the poet Richard Wilbur and he captures the same sense of wonder in God’s creation in his great poem “Lying”:

    We invent nothing, merely bearing witness
    To what each morning brings again to light:
    Gold crosses, cornices, astonishment
    Of panes, the turbine-vent which natural law
    Spins on the grill-end of the diner’s roof,
    Then grass and grackles or, at the end of town
    In sheen-swept pastureland, the horse’s neck
    Clothed with its usual thunder, and the stones
    Beginning now to tug their shadows in
    And track the air with glitter. All these things
    Are there before us; there before we look
    Or fail to look; there to be seen or not
    By us, as by the bee’s twelve thousand eyes,
    According to our means and purposes.

    God’s work is truly profound. We have to take care not to love it too much or it will be too difficult to leave!