Friday, January 22, 2016

Thank You Audrey Assad

You could have come like a mighty storm, with all the strength of a hurricane. You could have come like a forest fire, with the power of Heaven in your flame. But you came like a winter snow, quiet, soft and slow, falling from the sky in the night to the Earth below! You could have come like a tidal wave, or an ocean to ravish our hearts. You could have come through like a roaring flood to wipe away the things we scarred. But you came like a winter snow, quiet soft, and slow, falling from the sky in the night to the Earth below. Your voice wasn’t in a bush burning, your voice wasn’t in a rushing wind. It was still. It was small. It was hidden.

“Winter Snow” by Audrey Assad

Purposed perspective seems to be my current running theme. This is one of my favorite Christmas songs as it so perfectly encapsulates what God did for us through the gift of His son. As a teacher, I am blessed with an opportunity to teach various religions. For some, that makes them very uncomfortable, but for me, it is a privilege. You see, many of my students are familiar with the story of Christ simply because we live in a culture that exposes the greatest story ever told annually in conjunction with the greatest sin that is battled - greed. Yet, as I get to tell them about religions, I get to explain why some religions struggle to understand Jesus as the Messiah that Christians herald Him to be. The Savior of the world, THE WORLD, should have come like a mighty storm, with all the strength of the of a Hurricane. The Great Redeemer of the Human Race should have come like an all consuming forest fire. The Lord of all Creation should have overtaken the world like a tidal wave. But He didn’t. He came in quietly, in the still of the night to a common carpenter and his wife, in a cave shared by livestock. So the world struggles with that as we celebrate people who make big, flashy and even eccentric entrances. Why wouldn’t God make the same style of entrance?

Because that is not His MO. He is a God, the God, my God capable of orchestrating all of the other elements of nature above. I mean really, He has flooded the entire Earth before. However, He want us to LISTEN and to TRUST. He is attentive to detail and His methods are intended to align with our actions. He designed us a certain way to respond with our emotions and our spirits to certain colors and certain sounds. I see this in His created beings every day. We take pause at the quiet falling snow that we cannot hear, but yet we can see. Not only do we see the gentle gliding flakes, we see the piles of PURE and DELICATE and flawless white powder on the ground. We respond to that with AWE even though it isn’t like a torrential downpour forcing us to the attentive. It is mesmerizing. Sometimes He guide us to His picture, His work for the kingdom, His glory by gentle nudges that feel as subtle as a snowflake landing on our nose. It gives Him greater joy and more surmountable honor when we move by the touch of His hand and not a shove.

The color of the snow is no accident. White is pure. White is innocent. White is flawless. White is breathtaking. My lazy spirit grumbles almost daily at my white kitchen counters that I did not get to choose as they are a beacon of light for all crumbs and stains seeking a home. But that is just it, their white color gives me a greater awareness of the filth and the danger that can be on my counter which could contaminate other meals I am prepping or other projects I am working on. When I look at the freshly falling snow, my heart cries out for all to stay still and remain indoors and just gawk with me at the wonderment. For I know, as soon as my neighbor cannot stand it anymore, his tires will tread upon the smooth cloud of ice crystals on our street and mar the artwork of which I have found captivating. I know that my children will awaken soon and find their sleds and place their sweet little feet in snow boots and trudge through the yard in great efforts to make a man out of this fallen malleable substance. Then, even though they are precious, the artwork of which I have been breathing in is now changed forever. The leaves and dirt that are underneath will be mixed into the snow as they roll their spheres and the perfection will reveal imperfection.

So it is but for a moment that I get to enjoy His clarity and His words and His vision. But it is a moment that I cherish and I am also reminded by His speaking even now that this moment is not meant to be long. If it were than I would fall into a place of complacency and idleness. This moment is brief enough for me to be still and to listen and to trust. After that, take the words I have heard and the things that I have seen and press on in my endeavors to bring honor and glory to His kingdom. I am to see the tiny fingers of which I am blessed to nurture and create for them a generous cup of hot cocoa. I am to go out and help them construct their masterpiece so that all the world will see their creativity and they will have courage to make another and another and another and one day, they too will be listening in the quiet of the morning and see the canvas just the same.

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