Snow Sabbath: A Lenten Lesson


As I gaze out my window overlooking the sun-dappled snow and drink my second cup of coffee in a quiet house, I am reminded of what this season in our faith is really all about. I am a quiet and introspective person by nature, so the integration of those elements in to spirituality being encouraged on a large scale within the church is a blessing. For Lent is the time of liturgical whispers, of hushed calm like new-fallen snow. Gone are the green vestments and shiny metal, hidden away as the flowers of spring. Only the bare essentials for the feast are left, only bare branches to be seen on the altar, the same as the naked branches just outside the red doors. With fewer distractions calling us outside of ourselves, Lent is a time that calls us back inside, to stay indoors and poke around our own dark and dusty interiors. What can be mended now that we have the time to spend? What new life can we begin to nurture so we may watch it unfurl in the spring sun? How shall we make room for the Divine?

God whispers – he uses his inside voice when trying to reach us. Very rare is the “road to Damascus moment” in our lives. We expect God to scream and shout at us in order to get us to pay any attention and to get the point across, but don’t expect to hear God’s voice over the din of your noisy life so easily. Not all messages from on high are delivered via a holy shock and awe campaign. If you expect to have a relationship with the Divine you have to make the time for it. You’re spiritual life is not a one-sided transaction. Just like any valuable relationship you have to give it love, time, and attention to it to make it grow and keep it alive and healthy.

So often we find ourselves caught up in the business of “doing” at all moments of the day and night that it completely slips our minds to simply exist at all – to just BE. It is when we allow ourselves to stop and breathe deeply that we finally give permission for the Divine to also find rest in us. Because, if you never make time for yourself, how are you making any time for God? Lent shows us the importance of Sabbath keeping, of taking time away from the trappings of the world and instead spending that time with God. By clearing our lives of unnecessary mental and material garbage we are allowing space for the Spirit to move in, and allowing ourselves to make a connection with our truest center in Christ. Meditation does that for me. It carves out a sacred space in my own living room where I can invite the quiet presence of God to come and sit a spell, for us to simply enjoy the company of the other, for me to feel that Divine Love as reminder that God is in fact “with us”. Earth-moving moments are not always had, but I always end up with a deep and wonderful sense of peace, and I know that God was there.

I encourage everyone to take the time for themselves to make the time for God. You never know what might happen when you open the door and ask God in from the cold.

+ K +