The snow fell hard and long here for the past 3 days. It’s unlike this area for the white stuff to fall so steadily and to stick around for days on end. We’re use to a few flakes and then rain that washes it all away.
This time, though, everything is blanketed. A thick white layer making the green of the grass invisible. Branches drooping under its weight. Driveways cleared and covered, cleared and covered, cleared and covered.
I stared out the window as the light of day was dimming and the street lights flickered on and I watched the flakes dance through the air until they reached the ground. I watched them as they lay, one atop another, on the ground forming a thick deep mass. I wondered if this is what our sin is like. Piling all up around us, over us, on top of us. Covering over the beauty of what’s inside. I wonder if we can pile them on so deep and so thick that we don’t even recognize what’s underneath anymore. Like the snow can turn even the muckiest of soils into a thing of beauty with its facade, I wonder if we don’t do the same.
I’m on my final month of seven. Food.
To be honest, I wasn’t going to do this month because, as I stated (self-righteously) with my own mouth, “Food isn’t really a thing for me. I eat to survive more than I eat for pleasure.” ha.
Snow had fallen over my heart and over my eyes and it covered up what was really going on inside and I thought I didn’t have any issue with food whatsoever and that this month would be wasted on me. Easy. NBD.
We can’t see our own shortcomings. I mean, maybe the obvious ones we can, but we all have ones that go much, much deeper. Ones that are covered up. Hidden below. So far underneath a layer of snow that we can’t even see them for ourselves.
I decided to do the food month because if it was going to be so easy then why not, right?
I’ve never been so wrong in my whole life. I’ve never been so arrogant and humbled. I’ve never so blatantly stated something only to determine that I was completely and utterly wrong. Blinded. Proud.
Turns out, I do have an issue with food. I never would have known. I never could have seen.
It’s hard to determine the things we value until they aren’t with us anymore. It’s hard to see what might affect our whole lives if it weren’t a part of it. We live so comfortable where we are that without stripping some excess away, we don’t even see it as excess. I’ve wondered more than a dozen times this month if we, in the western world, aren’t the worst to be pitied. We’re so caught up in ourselves that we can’t even see. We glut ourselves on practically everything that we can’t even see to call it what it is. We claim to want to live like Jesus but the man from Nazareth isn’t at all what we look like.
Scripture shows that deceit leads to sin and that we, oh humans, are so easily deceived. The serpent deceived Eve and from that point on we are warned against being deceived. A lot of times! I can’t help but think that the myriad of warnings are there because God knows our hearts and he knows how easily we fall. He cautions us so that we are on high alert. He reminds us repeatedly so that we are in battle position, swords drawn, ready, knowing the mode of our hearts.
But do we?
I learned this month that I am deceived. I didn’t think food was an issue for me and yet take away some of the things I love most (hello, sour keys! And bread! And any sort of carbohydrate at all!) and I was a mess. I will admit 100% that the month I thought would be so easy was the month that has been the absolute hardest. How’s that for not knowing yourself as well as you think!
Over the past few days I was reminded of why I love where we live. It usually snows just a bit and then the rain comes and washes it away. I thought about how perfectly I want this to sum up my life. Snow falls and then it’s washed away. Sin comes and then it’s washed away.
Because I know sin will come. I know idolatry will creep in. I know my heart will wander and I will focus my gaze on something not worthy of it. I know I will covet and be excessive and not always be a picture of peace or love or kindness. But when I do I don’t want it to pile up like the snow on the trees. I don’t want it to lay heavy on me or break my branches or become so thick that I can’t even see what’s underneath. Rather, daily I want to take it to the one who can wash it away. Who can make me see. Who makes all things new again.