Snow in Texas. Hope in the soul.

Saturday before the Sunday of Forgiveness, Jan 31/Feb 13 2020


It has snowed about 12 inches in Dallas Texas! I went to a nearby heavily wooded park with my dog and walked through gigantic fields, expanses of shining whiteness.

 

Snow makes me think of purity. It makes me hopeful. It just feels good to walk in the midst of it.

 

As is usually the case when I am somewhere in an introspective mood, I begin to think in metaphors and feel this welling up in my soul, a desire for change.

 

Just as snow can cover everything and make it look clean and beautiful, so can my repentance make me clean and beautiful.

 

There is something deeply spiritual about walking through the woods and fields and thinking that I was made to be beautiful, pure, like the snow.

 

When I started to cross the first virgin field of snow, I feel an intense excitement, an expectation.

 

I guess I am wired a little different than others – it made me immediately think of the beginning of Divine liturgy, or when I start to say the Jesus prayer for my family and flock, or when vigil begins, or when Great :Lent is about to begin. These are also times of new beginnings, exciting times. It is during these times that hope springs up within me – I can pray and become holy! I can intercede for those I love, some of whom I am consumed with worry for (and worry always has a hint of hopelessness to it, and wherever hopelessness is, God is not – it is a dark and cold place). I can pay attention to every prayer, and my breath can be joined to the breath of the Holy Spirit, and I can get better.

 

I live for those moments, because I really want to get better. I really want my loved ones (as a father and pastor I have many) to get better. I battle thoughts every day that my day to day behaviors show I am not getting better or at least am getting better hardly at all, but when I begin to pray, there is always a certainty before me that I am changing and those whom I love will change.

 

It does not last long, just as snow in Texas become a muddy mess sometimes even on the day it falls, and just as my mind is distracted and sometimes even intensely saddened and tempted during prayer – but I remember these moments. They are like snow, which covers everything, and even after if melts, I remember how beautiful it was.

 

God promised it, and I believe it: someday that snow which sometimes covers my heart and makes me pure will not melt, and all will be serene, and peaceful and white.  I beg of the Lord that all in my flock will believe this, and order their lives according to this dogma.

 

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isa 1:18)

 

For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:  (11)  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.  (12)  For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  (13)  Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off. (Isa 55:10-13)

 

 

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2010.     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

This article is at: http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2010-02-13-snow-in-texas-hope-in-the-soul

 

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6 Responses to “Snow in Texas. Hope in the soul.”

  1. Deborah says:

    Thank you.

  2. Deborah says:

    Amen.

  3. Snow covers the land, as God’s grace covers the soul that is suffering, healing our wounds & giving us an ever-lasting hope.

    “You are not a beautiful, unique snowflake… This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time”.
    (Chuck Palahniuk)

    Yes, Father, those moments are very precious!

    Bless.

  4. Deborah says:

    “Snow covers the land, as God’s grace covers the soul that is suffering….”

    I had just finished reading communion prayers when I read this, Natalia, and I am thinking now of the festal robe that the Lord has given us to cover our wounded bodies and filthy rags.

    It just struck me that before the beautiful white blanket of winter snow arrives, we have fall–the season where the grass and leaves wither, die and drop to the ground and the animals gather and store food. Next comes the cold beauty and silence of winter. And after that— spring, the season of New Life.

    The powerful metaphor of the earth written by the changing seasons, given to us year after year after year.

  5. Haiku:

    Icy Diamond Wonderland

    Snow sleeps peacefully
    Sparkling in the sunlight, a
    Blanket of diamonds

    Winter Wonderland

    Branches curve downward
    Under heavy snow blankets –
    Winter wonderland!

    Snowy Sunday

    Soft white flakes rain down
    From the thick grey sky-cushions –
    Sweet snowy Sunday

  6. Deborah says:

    Beautiful. Thank you, Natasha.

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