The snow finally comes, blowing in powder-white and fine, mixed with snow-globe glitter. There are a hundred things to do and dinner is simmering on the stove when he says come, leave the to-do and come outside in the night with the kids. I look around at all the things I should be doing and somewhere alone the way I have lost touch what I want to be doing and I hesitate and drag my feet.
And I do. I do go.
The lights from the city below cast themselves upward, bleed into a cloud-hung sky and tint the heavens soft peach-pink. All around, falling and blowing, the snow envelops and cushions and sweeps over the earth. The streetlights are halos of glitter, silver glinting and laughing around orbs of light, pinpricks of brilliance among the blowing white. Our footsteps mark the new snow, first to fall there in the blanketed white. There is the silence that a snow-storm brings, the muffled quiet of a world paused to wonder at this beauty, a world wrapped and blanketed in softness. The edges of everything are blurred, blunted. The sharpness has worn off, has been padded and made gentle under a cover of white. It is a world transformed.
Youngest runs ahead, her footsteps small in the new-fallen snow. She is a little, dark-dancing point on the horizon in the strange new landscape of blunted-white, an angel in a brown ski-coat dancing under the strange pink sky. We listen to the silence and feel the purr of snow under our feet, the icy prick of snow on our faces. Along the way, Christmas lights blink from rooftops and under eves. Yellow-gold light glows from windows where Christmas trees stand watch.
There has been turmoil and tragedy and there has been soul-wrenching love and blessings that confound me in these few weeks around Christmas. My mind feels as thickly blanketed as the snowy landscape before me, where everything has slowed and the cars line up crawling toward where they need to go, one after the other on the road in front of our house. It has been a season that so far escapes words.
Ann says to name the year, and I don’t know if I can find the words to do so. Here with this white world, a tabula rasa, a new year ahead like a sheet of white paper and me holding the pen, black ink and where do I lay it down? What form should the words take? Perhaps more than other years, my heart knows that it is not my ink that spills across the page, not my hand that holds the pen.
I can only give a name to what I choose to do with the ink that’s given, the ink that’s spilled. That’s the best we can do: take what is written and use it as best we can to point to the One who is author of it all.
There is much that is ahead and my heart wants to know what is written now, to read ahead to the last pages of this chapter and not wait for the unfolding of the story. But like any good writer, the Author holds me captive and the story unfolds in front of me a page at a time, holds me here in this this sentence, in the paragraph of now.
So…to name the year, when words escape you. This much I know: it is a year of submission to His will. It is a year of gentleness, of slow intention. It is a year of living faith out loud, of putting action to the Word written by the Author who knows our story best.
It is the year of Living His Will.
Living His Will, not just suffering it or submitting to it or going along with it. The year of putting faith into action, quietly and with conscious intent. It is the year of living out the Word and passing it on through the quiet message of our lives, lived.