Tuesday, January 15, 2013


When we moved to IL I envisioned the winter to be filled with six feet of snow for three and a half months. It was a hopeful dream for this former snow deprived Fl girl. When we got here, the winters certainly produced more snow than central FL ever saw but not the likes what I envision maybe North Dakota enjoys. I'm of the philosophy that if it's going to be cold, let it snow. And lots of it! But around here the normal seems to be an inch or two every three or four weeks.

Last week brought two snows in rapid succession. I was giddy! My girls and I got out in the yard and made snowmen. Dirty snowmen mind you. Two inches is not enough to create what Hollywood does, but we had a great time none the less. Lumps of coal for eyes and a carrot for the nose just like the storybooks. Stinky Pete's snowman got a belt. So fashionable.

Later that afternoon we were driving through town while the warmth of the day was bidding the snow it's inescapable demise, my eye was caught by the beauty of the remaining small snow piles and tiny heaps. In certain places it lingers longer because the sun can never find it. Some rocks and yards look comparatively deep as they hide in the winter's shadows.  Branches and gardens look picture perfect covered in a fluffy white blanket.

But other areas are exposed to the bright warm rays. Science proves that the shallowest places will melt first and reveal the brown, dead earth beneath. Places of comparatively thick cold snow beside warmer places, barren and exposed. There is something beautiful to behold here. It's almost as if the snow clings together is desperation to fight against the sun's warmth, bound and huddling tight to not give way to the unavoidable fate and reveal it's hidden captive. It's a hushed stillness that commands attention. 

Then I see it. It is a picture of my heart. Of your heart. Of all hearts. We are the dead brown earth. Some places we let people see with no regard, exposed and naked. Those are the secure parts of our life, confident in what we have become. But the other places, those places that never see the sun, that never feel it's warmth, that hold on to the snow like a cover to provide some sort of sense of dignity; those are the places of our hearts where our fears reside. Where our shame is hidden, where our wounds are wrapped up tight and most inner secrets kept. The places we want concealed from the world around us.

And it occurred to me, that's exactly what Jesus does! I love the analogy of how he washes my sins white as snow, but this day He showed me he not only washes me, he covers me. He covers my heart at it's coldest spot.  He clothes me thickest around my shame. He clings and binds himself to my deepest wounds. He wraps me up where I'm most afraid of the sun's exposure.  He heaps and piles himself where I need it most for the purpose of protection, but also so that what others see is only his beauty. 

Scripture gives beautiful accounts of how he covers us beginning in the garden with animals skin and through the desert with the Israelites by his cloud. But the most touching reference I found was in Ezekiel chapter 16. He is speaking to the nation of Israel as a whole, but individually this verse seems fitting in the barren, dead of winter. Verse 8 says this:
When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine.
He covers us! With a blood covenant that cost him everything. And now we are his. Protected and hidden in his care. With our weaknesses safely exposed to him alone. Loved by a saviour that knows where we need him most. Covered by grace that runs deeper than any shadow.

Lord Jesus, how precious is your blood that not only washes me clean but covers me tenderly. What a beautiful saviour you are!

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