let it snow
Late afternoon, as the light begins to die after an afternoon finger-wrapped around steaming mugs and my kids home early–bursting through the door with a weather report, I put the glittering sign on the mantle, Let it Snow. The letters glow, burnished and glinting with warm light. This time of year, I think about people who feel perpetually cold, about places continually shadowed. It makes me want to be the light I should be.
I carefully pack up Christmas and hang antiqued silver snowflakes. They look old, but they’re not really. I trace the intricate angles with my fingers, watching the way the beads and stones glitter. Riley checks Twitter every hour for some news of school tomorrow. “School might be delayed…or canceled,” she says from the kitchen, bent over her phone, scrolling with one finger. Adam sits at the end of the table, finishing a snack. “Canceled,” he says, indicating his vote, stuffing another cracker in his mouth.
So far we have clouds, but no sign of a single snowflake. We peer out the windows at the thick white sky. I look down at the decoration in my hands, this one clear glass with sweeping curves, wishing that we could see the intricate, elegant lines of real snowflakes as they fall. I’ll tell you a secret: I love snowflakes because each one of them is unique. And yet, we can’t see that with our naked eyes, can’t even separate one from millions whirling white like manna, melting to nothing on our palms. To our inadequate eyes, they all look the same. It’s just snow.
I turn from the window, wondering if we’ll see snow today at all. And suddenly I realize that we only talk about the collective difference those snowflakes make together.
“Still no snow,” Riley says standing, blinking into a cold window pane and the gathering darkness beyond, searching for the first pristine evidence of white. When it falls, it will just be beautiful. The unified billions of those unique snowflakes wrap the earth, stunning. Let it snow. I pick up another snowflake, this one glistening with glitter. Lately, I find such joy in tightening the lens. You’re a snowflake; I want to see you up close. I give thanks that not only did one Lord make each one of us different, but that He reveals himself to us all in rare and individually relevant ways. And at the very same time, just now waiting in anticipation for the snowfall, I celebrate the fact that we make a greater difference together than we ever could alone.
There are different kinds of gifts, Word says, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone, it is the same God at work.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:5-7).
It’s all Spirit. And yet held up close, each individual revelation appears beautifully unique. Indeed, God gives us our rarer qualities for the blessing of all. And all the while, the truth is that if we’re right-headed about it, we still only want one name uttered as we whirl about together, changing the world.
Less of me, more of Him (John 3:30).