Rejoicing in Winter?

Saturday, February 12, 2005
Rejoicing in Winter?

God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that everyone who believes in him should not perish but may have eternal life. —John 3:16

Sometime early in March 1984 I realized that I had always liked winter.  I was watching my eldest son, Barry—then 7 years old—glide over the ice on a frozen pond in upstate New York, pushing a great distance with each stride as if he were making a point with each push off the ice.  From the corner of my eye, I caught the dancing motion of his younger brother, Isaac, his musical strides reminding me of a song.  The father/teacher in me was pleased that I had not simply taught them a technique but had somehow managed to nurture their own individual styles of skating.  At the time, I was too naive about fatherhood to know that, despite all my fatherly concern, I wasn’t able to force my style on their bodies, even if I had tried.

I still love winter, despite the fact that I no longer ice skate or ski with or without my children.  I rejoice in this season, when nature seems to be telling me to slow down, appreciate all the love in my life, and wonder at all the life that lies beneath the frozen ponds of upstate New York and the light beyond the clouds now in my Ohio Valley home.  I find myself marveling at all the life that appears dormant, waiting to burst into bloom in the bare redbuds, dogwoods, and pear trees. To those whom I hear complain about winter, I often jokingly say, “anybody can love nature on a warm spring day, but it takes a true lover of nature to appreciate winter.”

Dear God, help us during this Lenten season to appreciate the silence and darkness of winter in the faithful belief that there is not only life in earth’s apparent barrenness, but also your ever present love.

Larry I. Palmer