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First Snow

By November 20, 2015 2 Comments


There’s nothing like the feeling of waking up in the morning and looking outside to find the world blanketed in white. There’s an excitement in the air: kids, parents, even the pets, are buzzing, everyone listening to the radio for school to be canceled. The first snow is always the best—covering up the hard barren ground and the fall left overs. Fall is a beautiful season, but it turns ugly quick. A wind storm the other day knocked down what was left of any leaves, and now the trees look like sticks plunged into the ground marking buried treasure. Today the snow has covered it all up, decorating the world in white. Snow days offer a respite—a peaceful pause in the daily routine. It’s not that we don’t do stuff, it’s that we set aside our regular tasks to do other stuff. Snow forts, sledding, hot chocolate, even movie watching. Yes, I know that these days everyone watches movies all the time. But there’s something different about a snow day; it’s as if we’ve been given permission—it just feels different. The first snow lifts our spirits, brings a calm to our souls, and reconnects us to parts of our life that we tend to neglect.

This past week has been ugly. Watching the news lately can leave a person numb and hopeless. Having an interest in metal, I read multiple stories about the Eagles of Death Metal concert in Paris that was interrupted by gunfire and horrific violence. A photographer who was there to shoot pictures of the event released photos of the concert goers just minutes before the violence started. Hundreds of people smiling, laughing, oblivious to what was about to happen. We live in a cold, violent, world, and it’s not just Paris—its not just the obvious things. It’s as simple as the refusal to love our neighbor; its as complicated as broken relationships, harsh words spoken in anger, and our inability to see those God has put right in front of us.

Today, however, there’s snow. A visual sign of grace that wakes us out of our inwardly turned trance, opening our eyes to see the world refreshed and renewed. I could quote scripture passages to make my point but I’m not going to. This morning the snow’s enough; this morning God has spoken, and continues to speak a grace filled word of care and blessing. So I’ll leave it at that—it’s time for me to go shovel.

Jason Lief

Jason Lief teaches Practical Theology at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. He served as editor of Reformed Journal for many years and was one of the original bloggers on the RJ blog. You can find more of his writing at


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