An Unexpected Gift

An Unexpected Gift

As I sit in my window seat, gazing at the newly fallen snow, its color so white, so pure, so beautiful.  The way it covers the ground, the wires, the trees in simplicity creating a one of a kind masterpiece.  It’s profoundly peaceful. I take a deep breath in and close my eyes and think of a verse from Psalm 51, purify me with hyssop, until I am clean, wash me until I am whiter than snow.

This is how we are, by virtue of our Baptism, whiter than snow, so white, so pure, so beautiful, a one of a kind masterpiece.

My children interrupt my thoughts as they unexpectedly have the day off, a snow day and they want to go out and play.  Their excitement is infectious as they hurriedly dress for their adventure.  They are so happy just to “be” here, in the present moment, chattering about what they will do first when they get outside.  I watch as they put the last of their garments on and head for the door.

It occurs to me, that once they get outside, they will disturb the newly fallen snow as they make their way to the hill to go sledding.  Just like we are disturbed when others sin against us.  Like snow, we bear the footprints of those incidents.  It brings to mind those whom have hurt me in some way either by word, action or inaction.  Of course I feel the prick of those memories, and wonder if I have truly forgiven them.  For sometimes others hurt us and have no idea that they have done so, like my children, they are simply walking in the snow. I am sure that I have hurt others without realizing it.

Watching out the window, I see them preparing to make a snowman.  One is busy rolling the snow for the base, one for the middle and one for the head.  A deliberate, thought out act, that is marring the newly fallen snow.  I think of those I have deliberately hurt by my words, actions or inaction.  The times I withheld love and mercy because of my pride.  I feel the sting of compunction of heart!  I wince recalling the times others deliberately hurt me; with words or actions and the times they deliberately withheld love, mercy and compassion from me because of their pride.    I wonder, I mean really search my heart, have I truly forgiven them.

Later that day, after the children have come in, the salt trucks have been out, and the snow has lost its newly fallen pristine beauty, I sit in the window seat and look at the mess.  There are foot tracks in the yard, long rows where the snow was rolled for the snowman and the grime from car exhaust covers the edge of the snow on the streets.

It occurs to me that my soul must look like this, with foot tracks of others sinfulness, long rows of my own deliberate sins, and the grime that comes from living in a fallen world.  Wow, I am a mess!!  I have lost my pristine beauty, given to me by virtue of my Baptism.

I bring to mind the verse from Psalm 51, purify me with hyssop, until I am clean, and wash me until I am whiter than snow.  It gives me a sense of peace and contentment.

In this ordinary natural occurrence, I see the beauty and wisdom of the Church.  For in its infinite wisdom, it has given us the ability to continually return to our original pristine beauty through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

A place to pour forth the foot tracks of others sinfulness, the long rows of our own deliberate sins and the grime that comes from living in a fallen world.  A time to examine our humanness and the frailty of the human condition, then with complete confidence place them at the feet of our Lord, and ask to be forgiven so that we may try again.

Confession, like each new snowfall, restores each of us to our original beauty.

  ® 2015