Our dear friends, Helen and Daniel, arrived from Barranquilla, Colombia on Friday evening. They are staying with us for a while as they connect with ministry partners in Canada through their work with Latin American Mission.
As we sat in the kitchen together the snow began to fall and my friends unknowingly helped expose the condition of my heart on a few matters.
This was Helen's very first snow fall. I was mesmerized as I watched her take sheer delight in this April storm like a child catching snowflakes.
This was the first time she had ever experienced these beautiful intricate hand crafted parcels gently floating down from the sky. Helen described the flakes of snow like "cotton candy."
Close your eyes and picture this one of a kind masterpiece land on your skin for the very first time. Feel the cool of this pristine flake from heaven and then imagine it melt before your very eyes. Truly magical and breathtaking!
As I watched Helen's joy it certainly put a whole new spin on gratitude for snow in April!
You see, as I witnessed this extraordinary event of seeing this first snow fall through her eyes, I also stood guilty of complaining about the very same weather she chose to take joy in.
There I was convicted of murmuring about the falling temperature and the need to scrape off the car once again. I also caught myself wallowing in dread over the anticipated morning drive to work.
My complaint of winter weather in April was actually a beautiful gift through the eyes of my Colombian friend.
How many times have I complained about things that other people around the globe would actually count as a precious blessing.
Just the other week one of my choir members arrived back from a trip where she was helping doctors in another country provide medical care to families in need. She shared how men, women, and children wound travel from far and line up for days to receive a simple eye examination. When it finally was their turn not only did they not complain, but they expressed deep gratitude.
As I heard that story I was horrified at the trivial things I have complained about. I cringe to think about the times I grumbled because I had to wait at an appointment or in traffic. I am embarrassed for my lack of patience when I had to line up for a few minutes at the store, gas station, airport or even for a ride at an amusement park.
Gratitude is truly the only cure for a complaining spirit!
I wondered if these examples were simply a difference of global or cultural perspective?
As Helen covered herself in a shower of snowflakes I felt compelled to examen my heart further.
As I watched the light in her eyes I realized that I had to confess my lack of wonder.
When I fail to be attentive and take joy in God's divine beauty and creativity, I actually grieve the heart of my Father.
Seeking wonder not only honours the Father, but it helps us to live awake in Christ.
Every moment presents a choice.
We can complain of inconvenience or live with wonder.
We can dread weather, work, line ups, problems or we can take sheer delight and awe in the smallest creation.
We can take what we have right in front of us for granted or we can live with our hearts full of gratitude.
I want to choose awe, wonder, and gratitude!
Remove the scales from my eyes of the gifts that I take for granted.
Lord help me to remain child-like and alive with wonder!