Saturday before the Sunday of Forgiveness, Jan 31/Feb 13 2020
It has snowed about 12 inches in
It has snowed about 12 inches in
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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