A Lifetime of Labor

   We had one week of snow this season. Two snowfalls about a day and a half apart. When the the first snow fell, the boys decided to defy the odds and each build a snowman. In spite of the causality of two inches of existing snow, they managed to scrape up enough to build three fairly large men. Well, the afternoon waxed hotter and the snow on the ground began to melt, but the snowmen, which had been cleverly built on the coldest darkest side of the house where the sun never shines, stood there stark and white against the grey green of the soggy earth.
    I thought nothing more of the unfortunate structures until the next snow fell. Unlike the first, this one came stealthily overnight and left behind a good half dozen inches. Early that morning I stepped out to enjoy the wonder of a snow muffled world ere it's surreal silence was pierced by the irrepressible enthusiasm of my snowman building brothers. But as I walked around the back of the house. I was startled at the transformation.
    To build a snowman one must invariably get grass into it unless there are a good solid two feet of snow. Up in New Hampshire, we could build giant snow structures which contained only a few wisps of grass, but here it is impossible. By the time the ball reaches any reasonable proportion the whole thing is rather muddy and grey. Of course against the backdrop of a soggy, scraggly yard. the snowmen looked white enough, but now with the freshness of the new snow, they looked positively miserable. At least, the parts witch showed. They did look a little blotchy where the top of the ball knit with it's bottom part for up above was cloaked with snow and the bottom retained it's muddy grey.
    As I looked at the strangely transfigured structures I realized that that's very much what we are be fore God. We are dirty muddy, grass filled balls of snow, which have been rolled in the muck and grime of sin. It makes no difference how many times a snowball is rolled in the mud before it has lost its whiteness. Once or a hundred, it's all the same - it is thoroughly polluted. An object lesson for us as to the difference there is between a sinner such as myself and a serial killer; none whatsoever.
   Even more drastically I realized, for the first time, I mean actually realized not just knew the difference between justification and sanctification. Justification is what happens when we are saved; and Jesus covers us with clean white snow, his own; so that when God looks at us, he sees Jesus' purity instead of our own dirtiness and pardons us. But sanctification is the process of cleaning out that dirty snow of which we made up - now do you see why it takes a lifetime?
  A life time of painstaking, back breaking, agonizing work to pull out every single speck of dirt and grass and make us thoroughly white; like Jesus and like the freshly fallen snow. we are as incapable of doing this work as the snowman is of cleansing himself. Even if we were to set to work at cleaning out the snowman, it would be quite a lot of effort. And there would be quite a lot of changes to the snowman ere it was done. It would be an entirely new creation.
   It is the same with us. By the time we reach the end of our journey with Christ, we are completely different then when we began it. Of course the analogy isn't perfect, no analogy ever is, but it was merely there to remind me of the greater truth, not to model it for me. Mommy always says that every facet of creation is an object lesson; a sign post to point us to God. I agree, for now as spring comes and nature awakes, I sense the wonder that I think God wants us to feel whenever he speaks to a dead soul and causes it to respond and awake and blossom at the sound of His voice.

   ~ I love winter and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. What bitter, freshening, painful, exhilarating vigor it brings. I sorrow to have it leave and yet I love the new life of Spring as I watch every thing come to life again. Winter will come again, as will all the seasons until our Lord comes to take us home. Let us not not be found idle when He comes; either with a trumpet or through the misty veil of death. Let us watch and pray that Jesus may cleanse us from all the mud and scum of our sinful hearts, that He may find us white as snow!

  I leave you today with a favorite piece of mine by Antonio Vivaldi.
    Can you guess what it is?
       If you are in any way a classical musiscian I think you can.
I hope you enjoy this beautiful work as much as I do!
This is the Largo movement - doesn't it sound just as if you were walking through a snow covered forest alone, in the silence of it all?
   Well, until I write again, may God continue to sanctify you and pull out those grass clods and mud splats!


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Dani M. said...

Christianna- I love your blog! It's so pretty and feminine, and I love all the musical pictures and quotes. :)

Dani M.

Christianna Hellwig said...

Thank you Dani,
I'm so glad you stopped by - and like my blog!

Allison McCurdy said...

Congratulations on graduating, Christiana!!!:)