Sunday, January 13, 2013

Snowshoeing.......Yesterday I went on a snowshoe trek all by myself here in our mountain village. Now for fellow southerners you may not know for sure what the contraptions we call snowshoes are. We strap these long things (not skis) to our boots and with two ski poles we trek into deep snow. Now I have been told that they help you "float" across the snow. I think that may be some obscure snowshoe terminology. What I did certainly did not feel like floating. The snowshoes did keep from sinking to the bottom of the 40 or so inches of snow that we have but I did not glide like some snow angel across the top of the snow as floating seemed to imply.

After a bit I got the hang of it and began a random journey through the evergreens, around about the area finding myself following cross country ski tracks down to the Old Mill Site Park. I found a rhythm that was comfortable (although quite the cardio workout.)The deep snow has touched everything. The cold brisk air was full of the smell of the heavy laden evergreens. I could feel and hear my heart working in the silence of nature. It was exhilarating!

I found myself at the edge of a bank to the Crystal River being careful not to step too close because of the depth of the snow, it was hard to tell where the edge was. It was certainly not my intent to fall into the icy waters below! I stood there bundled up in layers of snow clothing, in the most awkward looking contraptions on my feet and listened.

I heard the running river. It had begun to snow again. There was not a sound of any humans around. I looked up to the mountain ridge called Raspberry Ridge. I breathed in the cold cold air. I breathed in God! My heart and soul cried out to Him in praise and wonder. I began to sing a heart song. It was a song of praise that has never been written. It was a melody that has never been played. And I am sure that if any living soul had heard it they would have been glad for those two facts. But I knew in that moment that God was pleased with my song because it was of the Holy Spirit; my spirit through the Holy Spirit was praising my Lord and the Father!

Jon preached today on Heaven meeting earth. It was about the scripture when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the "river." The Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove and a voice from Heaven said "this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." While snowshoeing yesterday I stopped, stood still long enough, was quiet long enough to allow Heaven to meet earth in my earthen vessel. I pray that I will continue to pause to breath in the breath that God is always waiting to breath into me.

"....the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." Genesis 2: 7

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas Eve in Marble........I have always loved Christmas Eve. It has always been that day when Christmas is so very close but not quite time for the presents from Santa. Christmas Eve evenings as a child brought presents from grandparents. And as many of you from Clement may relate, as a child I would beg my parents to take me by Miss Eva Belle's house to see if her Santa made it on the roof. Many of you know what I am talking about.

As an adult Christmas Eve has always been a very spiritual day for me; a day in which I could concentrate even more on the true meaning of Christmas just before the hustle of Christmas day. This year in Marble I felt like I was living in a Christmas Card. It snowed all day long and well into the night. Every spruce tree, every fir tree, and every pine tree decorated with layers of snow became a Christmas tree. Snow is a silent event, falling quietly touching everything and cleansing with its whiteness. So it seemed to me as if all of nature in Marble was singing "Silent Night."

I was giving a drama presentation called "Mary's Mother" in the Christmas Eve service. So I had to wait in the pastor's office while the people gathered. Our historical church was magnificently dressed in its Christmas ware. Candles were lit, the tree was lit and everything sang of " O Holy Night." As I was sitting in the office praying and contemplating about what I had to share with the congregation, I could only hear the people gathering and only hear the songs being sung. What I could see was only out of the office window. It was night and the snow was still falling but the lights from the church shining on the snow revealed a different world from its daylight counterpart. Christmas carols, choir specials, special solo, not seen but heard, and the snow still falling; truly it was a "Silent Night, Holy Night."

Then I stepped out to give the drama presentation. Our little church was full. I told the Christmas story from the view point of Mary's mother. I shared the prophecies of His birth, the angel's announcement, the belief and faith of a young virgin, the doubts and then belief of a righteous man who would take the virgin Mary as his wife. I ended with the reading of the birth and the shepherds' wonder and praise at all that they "had seen and heard." Then I announced, "Joy to the World, the Lord IS come, Joy to the world! The congregation responded by singing out that great carol
proclaiming "Joy to the World!"

Christmas Eve for me in Marble with all its beauty, with its snow, with the faithful celebrati
ng together His birth was truly "on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests."