listen. learn. winter snow.

Snowfalls are rare and therefore memorable here in Alabama. In fact, in any conversation about snow in Alabama, you will inevitably hear the year 1993 mentioned; it was then we had our last big and most significant snow. Caught completely off guard in mid-March, our ill-equipped cities and communities were forced to shut down for a week thanks to the 2 feet of accumulation. With no power for 8 days at home, my family essentially camped in our house, kept the fire going as much as possible, rationed our battery usage, and walked to the closest grocery store for coffee heated by generator. It had never occurred to me to keep refrigerated items outside before that experience.  My brother had to cancel his birthday party. My mother missed the light. My father missed the heat. I missed the music. As the snow melted, I realized that families and neighborhoods and communities and cities emerged humbled, united, and strengthened by the challenges they had survived. I am convinced this is the real reason we recall 1993 at every opportunity.

The past couple of years have brought a day or two of flurries and the occasional couple of inches. It has been just enough snow to make a very grassy snow man and dust the area. Regardless of the amount, snow always seems to teach me, symbolize something, or change my perspective. I’ll never forget what it was like to tour the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site in Germany one December Day in 1999. The pure white snow seemed to cover over the dark, evil corners of the place. Struck silent by the history, I wandered the camp, broken and grateful for the pure covering over my own dark and sinful nature. It seemed the snow was speaking redemption – honoring the memory of those so wrongfully imprisoned there and offering a great hope.

I was reminded of all these snow lessons this year while listening to what has very quickly become a new favorite song of the season, “Winter Snow.” This beautiful reminder can be found on Chris Tomlin’s album Glory in the Highest and the beautiful voice you hear is that of Audrey Assad, again a new favorite. Take the few minutes to listen. It’s like a lullaby for the distracted and stressed.

“Winter Snow”

Could’ve come like a mighty storm
with all the strength of a hurricane
You could’ve come like a forest fire
with the power of heaven in your flame

But you came like a winter snow
quiet and soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
to the earth below

Could’ve swept in like a tidal wave
or an ocean to ravish our hearts
You could have come through like a roaring flood
to wipe away the things we’ve scarred

But you came like a winter snow
quiet and soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
to the earth below

No, your voice wasn’t in a bush burning
No, your voice wasn’t in a rushing wind
It was still, it was small, it was hidden

You came like a winter snow
quiet and soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
to the earth below

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