It’s not often that we wake to snow topped mountains here in Santa Barbara—to hail pelting our brick patio—to so much water that our succulents topple over from drunkenness. Since our two older children were born in Colorado, and miss the snow terribly, we always try to rush to the hills when snow hits. Even though I grew up in this place where splays of roses still bloom in December, I miss the dormant time of winter that we met in Colorado. A season of rest, of gathering strength, of building hopes for the coming burst of spring.
This last week has been winter-like in more ways than just the weather. We’ve had three deaths happen in our extended family—it has been a time of prayer and tears and feelings of grief. We’ve added names to our prayer rule, lit candles, baked bread and written cards. Yet, just like snow means water, and water means relief…there is always joy and hope in Christ—in the white purity of snow, the fun of a snowball fight, the creativity of “Sam” the snowman. All things can be turned to joy, eventually, even death, even winter.