Today, snow is falling. It affects the world like the filters I use on my photos to turn them white, then whiter. I set text over photos like these, Bible verses or thoughts I find poignant. Today, the world matches these photos. The snow blurs the foreground, muting the background, inviting me to think something in the white spaces God has provided.
The mood I’m in is a flurry to rival the one outside my window. It has turned me into a writer who cannot write my normal posts, one who must ask for you to humor this change of pace.
My personal storm started the day I visited a neighbor and friend who is now, as I type, scraping into her lungs breath that will not sustain her long. She is dying, and the experience of holding her hand, rejoicing at the few moments she opened her eyes and focused, speaking with her daughter-in-law, these moments flurry before me and change my perspective. The world is still the same, but some edges are softened and some new details come into sharp relief, as though a fresh layer of snow now blankets my old perspectives of life and death.
I now think of life as more precious than I did before. I think of the privilege it is to be alive, the moments of unspeakable joy that make even suffering worthwhile. I think of how temporary we are. I think of how, when the joy of living is past and it comes to dying, the only hope and encouragement I have to offer is in Jesus, and how Jesus insists I love my brother, and how I fail at that. I want to do better, but I also want nothing more than to curl up at home with a book.
Today, the reading I gravitate toward is the kind that matches this flurry of introspection. It doesn’t answer my thoughts or fill in the blanks of the white world around me. These essays and poems only assure me I’m not the only one looking out the window at a snowstorm of joy and sadness.
I finish reading and stare out at the world that is getting lost in the snow. The soft edge of a living shape hops through my view. A bunny dressed in his fluffy winter coat silently navigates the maze of flakes, maybe as dazed as I am. Maybe he knows exactly where he’s going.
These storms won’t last, and I don’t want them to. I love spring. I love life. I don’t like to dwell on the cold facts. I don’t function well when I do. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t find this storm beautiful. So, I swathe my camera in plastic wrap, I pull on my coat and boots, and I go out to take a few shots. As I wait for this storm to end, I document it.
I snap pictures, and my heart hammers, crying, Look how much there is to see here!
There is beauty here. There are things I need to see and feel and record. Like melting snow that waters grass and rivers in spring, the things I think and feel and come to know in this flurry will cause new growth when the sky clears.
What a beautiful post, Emily. I'm so sorry for your loss of your friend. It's so hard to watch someone you love die. So hard, and so life-changing. Praise the Lord that He's giving you hope in this time.
Thank you, Jerusha! Yes, God is good. I love that you mentioned hope as I was thinking earlier today of one of my favorite verses, Romans 5:5, "and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." 🙂