An Unexpected Gift {Part Two}

(Read An Unexpected Gift {Part One} here!)

…A surprise snowstorm was headed toward Harrisburg, and expected to leave at least six inches in its wake.

“No way,” I said, basically echoing most voices in the hall. “In October?”

I awoke early on Saturday morning holding my breath, anxious to see if the sky had opened and disappointed to find it hadn’t. But later that morning, the evidence came in … Yes, Virginia, it can snow in Pennsylvania in October. Later news articles would call it “historic”–the largest October snowfall in history and only the fifth time since 1889 that measurable snow has fallen in October! At the first sight of real flakes falling, I headed for the lobby, knowing I had to be out *in* it, if only for a moment. I tried to capture a section of sky …


 But I wasn’t really dressed for it. I caught a few and laughed at the feel of them on my face. By mid-day everything I could see was blanketed in white, even the sky’s blue shrouded in gray. I giggled, snapped pictures from our window … rushed to the next session.

Lunchtime brought a sudden change to the storm. Suddenly, giant flakes tumbled down, clumping together, acrobating feathers, casualties of some celestial pillowfight. It was pure wonder.


Hast thou entered the treasuries of the snow …?        Job 38:22

Drawn as if by magnet to the scene outside, I kept snapping pictures between meetings. I knew I should go out in it, really *be* in it, and enjoy. But clocks ticked on and my schedule was too full.

The weekend ended beautifully and I knew I’d learned much and heard some clear direction from the Lord on a few issues I’d been concerned about. Sunday morning was my birthday, and it was a joy to awaken to many sweet messages from friends and a breakfast with my dear friend Kristen one last time before we headed out; she to a train bound for New York City and I to my plane aimed south.

I crunched through snow to wrestle my luggage into the shuttle, and was grateful to see a surprisingly efficient security line once we got to the airport. Playing my usual game of waiting ’til the last possible moment to board my flight, I climbed over the poor soul who’d boarded at the appropriate time with a quick apology and put on my seat belt. Since I’d been loaded down with a plethora of new books by the wonderful Relevant sponsors, I knew I’d have no lack of reading for the next several hours. A smooth taxi down the runway and we took off, I wish I would have been able to call uber that day. I leaned my slightly weary head onto the hard plastic of the airplane shell, and stared out the window at land quilted by painted trees. Orange, red and brown bunched together like billowing candied popcorn in spots, then lined up like soldiers to create the seams, patching together expanses of pure white.

It was the untouched snowy fields that did it.

A dam broke, unexpected. Through the hazy window of the airplane, I saw truth clear:

The snow had been a gift.

And I’d missed it. Not completely, no–I’d taken pictures, stood watching behind glass, felt it on my cheeks for a few moments.

But I hadn’t really taken time to experience it. I’d left no marks in the snow. I’d been an appreciative observer, but missed the fullness. God had invited me out to play, and I’d declined the invitation.

And that snow would never come again.

Then a memory stole to the surface, unbidden. Just a few days before, I’d been busy, my mind full to the brim with packing and preparation. Two of the children had run in breathless from the backyard, “Come see! There are squirrels in the tree!”

And I, occupied with my immediate concerns, unable to hear the important, had said, “I can’t. I don’t have time right now. Maybe later …”

Why is it that later never comes?

How many moments have I missed?

How many chances to scoop snow and fling it back up toward the heavens? How many bits of beauty from God’s hand have gone unnoticed as I rush about my days? How often have I been content to observe, and not partake? How often has that happened in a worship service, a Bible study, a service opportunity?

Time must not be allowed to slip by in a rush of dealing with the present “emergency.” I have to look ahead and evaluate, to decide in advance what is priority and what is not. I long to choose the better things, to experience all His wonderful gifts and wring every bit of God-given beauty and joy out of every moment I have. I don’t want to miss a thing.

Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”  But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42

Lives full of hurry, of rushing here and there, of schedules jammed full, leave little room for holy interruptions, whether from the Lord or the people we love.

If I am too busy to count God’s gifts …

Too busy to “come see …”

Too busy for a friend’s phone call or a cup of coffee …

I’m too busy, period.

And something needs to change. It’s probably me.


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3 Responses to An Unexpected Gift {Part Two}

  1. Pingback: An Unexpected Gift {Part One} | | Encouraging Hearts at HomeEncouraging Hearts at Home

  2. Charlotte says:

    This is absolutely PERFECT for me right now. Thank you, once again, for posting what I needed to read.  Love you!

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