Indiana winter this year has been one for the snow lovers--and cold lovers--and sledding lovers. I determined years ago that I would not let weather define my mood or what I do. Life is too short to let things I can do nothing about control how I live my life or how I feel about life.

But, I have to admit, this winter has been pretty weighty. The sub-zero weather that follows snow storms has secured the snow in permanent piles beside our driveway. Those who live in our city without adequate shelter have struggled to not only stay warm but, in too many cases, to stay alive. Those who are waiting through the winter of their soul find a companion in the weather even as they ache for a sign of new life emerging. The ubiquitous light of the media simply reminds us of the dark winter freeze.

I don't have answers to how we might speed through to spring. Thaw comes in its own time.  But, I think one way to carry the weight of winter is to partner with others. Reach out to those whom you know and offer them warm hospitality in your home. Share a hot cup of care by sending someone a greeting.  Light a candle in the cold by calling someone whose icy burden weights their soul. Companions may not have answers to weighty questions but they can help you know you are not alone.

And as you companion each other, hold hard to the hope that the snow will melt and that somewhere a sprig of spring will one day emerge. Allow that hope to warm your heart that holds the dark burden of pain and oppressive fear. Remember, under the snow is a seed that, with the warming sun, becomes a rose.


Sometimes people pay big money for an ice sculpture. They have swans carved out of ice adorning a punch bowl. They carve bears out of huge chunks of ice at winter festivals.

But, sometimes these beautiful ice sculptures just appear.  I was driving toward the trails to hike and there, against the brown of the trees and the grey of the sky was this bright, white modern art sculpture, created by a broken fire hydrant.

Sometimes we miss the accidental beauty that adds color to our life.  Sometimes we drive-by life so fast that its tender gifts of grace go unnoticed.  Sometimes we are so distracted by the flickering seduction of cultural's temptations that we fail to pause and take in the accidental moments of elegance that visit us.

I drove by this gift, then turned around and went home to get my camera. It is in our nature to share the gifts of grace we receive.  So, I share it today.  I don't want to miss the accidental beauty that comes my way.