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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Winter

The Internet Cafe

welcomes

Christine from Fruit in Season

"Winter"




...and everything in time, and under Heaven, finally falls asleep. Wrapped in blankets white, all creation shivers underneath. And still I notice you when branches crack, and in my breath on frosted glass. Even now in death you open doors for life to enter...

You are Winter.

I grew up in central New Jersey with cold, often snowy, winters, hot, humid summers, and the bliss of the in-between. I remember snuggling in my bed, rubbing my feet together and then drawing my knees to my chest to get warm under 3 blankets and an afghan made by my grandmother. I remember hearing the wind moan outside the walls of my corner bedroom and feeling cozy and safe inside. I thought it was normal to have frozen feet all winter long, and only when I became an adult did I realize that not everyone kept the windows open, or the heat only up to 65, during the cold months of the year.

I remember traveling across the street to the farm for sledding in the snow. The hill looks small now, but for my sister and me it meant hours of fun that resulted in red, runny noses, pink cheeks and a hot cup of cocoa when we returned home.

Then came Spring.

There's nothing like Spring after a cold winter. Finally shedding coats, hats and mittens, smelling the clean scent of rain and mud and growth in the air. I love the seasons. I feel lost when the dance between them is missing.

I chose to go to college in Miami, Florida. I was the envy of many friends, who I'm sure thought I would be on the beach instead of at class, but I didn't head there for the sun. And while I was there, I wilted a bit each year, missing the change from hot to cool to cold. Christmas wasn't the same- seeing palm trees dressed with lights, smelling green instead of the white of approaching snow, and seeing sun instead of the white-gray of a northeastern winter sky.

Toward the end of my Florida stay, Jason (who's originally from South Florida) and I were dating. He knew of the void the constant warmth left for me. The first fall he was gone to graduate school in Ohio while I remained in Miami he sent me crisp, colorful fall leaves in an envelope. It was a precious gift.

The years I spent in Florida taught me a very important lesson.

Spring loses its meaning if it doesn't follow winter. The rebirth is shallow when not preceded by starkness and death.

And we can't appreciate the resurrection without the cross.

Suffering has its place. There is so much that would pass us by, without gratitude, if we didn't experience death in our lives. Death of dreams, death of expectations, death of health, or death of the body. The cycle would be incomplete without it.

To finish the song "Every Season", by Nichole Nordeman, is to be reminded of how God is rebirth, renewal and life itself.
...And everything that's new has bravely surfaced, teaching us to breathe. And what was frozen through is newly purposed, turning all things green. So it is with You, and how You make me new with every season's change. And so it will be, as You are recreating me...

Summer...Autumn...Winter...Spring.

9 Comments:

Blogger Denise said...

Such a beautiful devotion, thank you.

February 21, 2008 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger Chris @ Come to the Table said...

Your writing always ministers to me Christine, especially after several weeks of bitter cold winter weather.

Blessings to you!

February 21, 2008 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

Oh how good it is to feel refreshed after the dreary days of winter. Yet I remind myself how important those days are to have the best crops of our wonderful Texas bluebonnets and peaches.

Thanks for reminding me this is true in life as well.

February 22, 2008 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

This really ministered to me, too. Thanks for the reminder that this, too, shall pass.

February 22, 2008 at 7:32 AM  
Blogger Darnelle said...

"Suffering has its place."

There was a time that I would have argued that point with anyone. Then I grew up. Then I met God. Then I married and had lots of children. And He has shown me that, yes,

"Suffering has its place."

He surely knows what He's doing. He knows how to touch the deepest parts of us and more importantly, WHICH parts need to be touched.

I usually choose some part of the daily Cafe' post for my journal, but today, I can't choose. You've expressed His heart so well. Guess I'm gonna copy the whole thing! What an awesome post for me, today, at the place where He has me. Thank you.

Darnelle

AND - Welcome to the Cafe'. Besides your own blog, and HOTM, now I can catch you here! How cool!

February 22, 2008 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger windycindy said...

Thanks for the beautiful thoughts! I, too, like the change of seasons! It is fun when green begins to sprout amidst the brown of everything. Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

February 22, 2008 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Mary Lou said...

Beautiful thoughts. Spring is my favorite season. Everything coming back to life after being "dead" all winter. I live in the midsouth and we have the change of seasons. I do love Spring, reminds me of the resurrection when He came back to life and gives us new life when we were dead in our sins. Blessings on your day. Mary Lou at dlowran1(at)comcast(dot)net

February 22, 2008 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger Kelly @ Love Well said...

I lived in SoCal for almost 10 years before returning to the Upper Midwest, and I couldn't agree more. God's lessons are everywhere. The seasonal dance is such a beautiful representation of our walk with Him.

February 22, 2008 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Praise and Coffee said...

I love this song, I am usually crying by the end of it! Your words are so true and encouraging.
Thanks so much and welcome!
Sue

February 23, 2008 at 7:13 AM  

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