When It’s Snowing Sideways

This is a post written during the frightful winter of 2015, but given that there’s a storm raging outside this afternoon,  I’m digging it out of its snow drift and sharing it today.

Meteorologists are having a field day, rummaging around in their thesauri for words equal to the task of describing the nor’easter that is hammering the east coast on this January day.
“It’s Beauty and the Beast!” crowed NPR’s morning weather guy.
“I get the “beast” part,” chirped the perky news anchor, “but you’ve got to explain the ‘beauty,'” whereupon the meteorologist launched into a riveting psalm to the raw power of the storm.

He had my attention, and for a few minutes I imagined myself out in the storm, snow-caked scarf trailing behind me, face into the wind, being scoured clean by the blinding snow — sort of an east-coast, middle-aged, female version of John Muir, the 19th century North American explorer.  He was known for climbing to the top of a Douglas fir in the middle of a wild, Sierra Mountain wind storm, holding on for dear life and riding out the tempest so that he could know and experience wind.

I, however, am known for making pot roast and home made ice cream on snowy days, so I peel another carrot and decide to use the food processor instead of the hammer to pulverize leftover candy canes for the ice cream.  Through the driving snow, I see that Lady Cardinal, out on the deck rail, is having her own issues with the wind.  Usually perfectly groomed in her red-orange lipstick, today her stylish, coiffed tuft of feathers is out of control, as, back to the wind, she struggles to maintain her dainty footing.  Then, unexpectedly, the wind gusted, pivoting her where she stood, end for end, tail for beak.

This is the work of the wind, untamed and untamable, turning us around when we least expect it.  For the Christian, everything we do has its basis in the Wind of Spirit as both the Hebrew and the Greek render “spirit” as “wind” or “breath.”  Apparently, John Muir had the right idea about how to relish wind, how to take it all in.

Today’s sideways snowstorm is a visible effect of wind, as are the sculpted drifts and tossing tree limbs.  Typically, like Lady Cardinal, I want life on my own terms, predictable as the ingredients in my crockpot, without the bother of being upended by an invisible force beyond my control.  How much I miss!  I wonder what would happen if the Wind of Spirit was set free to do something in me that only God could do?

Now, don’t be looking for me at the top of any fir tree, riding out this storm!  But what if, trusting the Wind to do His work, I relaxed my white knuckle control of the universe and let the beauty of Wind change my direction?  What if the way to ride out life’s storms, the way to live “life in the Spirit” is to wait for the Wind to blow — and then to move.

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you . . .”    Acts 1:8

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Michele Morin

I am a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. I have been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 27 years, and our four children are growing up at an alarming rate. Nonetheless, two teens still remain at home, and along with an incorrigible St. Bernard, we laugh, make messes, clean them up, and then start all over again. I love hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop me in my tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. I lament biblical illiteracy and advocate for the prudent use of "little minutes." I blog at Living Our Days because "the way I live my days will be, after all, the way I live my life." You can connect with me on Facebook or Twitter.

13 thoughts on “When It’s Snowing Sideways”

  1. Michele, I absolutely love this! The way you describe the wind and snow and then you end with this: “But what if, trusting the Wind to do His work, I relaxed my white knuckle control of the universe and let the beauty of Wind change my direction?” It’s exhilarating and freeing! Blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the wildness of a winter storm (when, of course, I know that everyone I love is safely home and not out trying to travel in it) and I love the incredible stillness that comes afterward. That wind whipping around is one of the things I miss most, now that I live further to the south and true snowstorms are so few and far between.

    I always forget that teh Holy Spirit translates as “wind”. Sometimes I really love thinking about those translations and what they say for how people built the language of the Bible, how they saw intangible things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eugene Peterson introduced me to the story of John Muir in the swaying tree — can’t recall which of his books . . . We’ve certainly lived through a storm in these past few days. Praying for you, my friend.

      Like

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