Bare Trees In Winter Winds

So, it’s -13 degrees out there this morning (with a -29 windchill) and winter’s just getting started! It’s days like this that we can always be glad we don’t live in Dome Argus, Antarctica, where the coldest temperature on record was -135.8F!

So, I wrote a poem about the cold of winter (more like a prayer, really), seeing as how we got our arctic blast unusually early this year.
Bare tree in winter
A new day is dawning as the air grows cold
and trees shed their last layer of undergarments.
Naked, they face the winter.
No pretense of color.
No shade of foliage.
Just bare branches contorting in the air.
“We will sleep now,” the trees seem to say,
but there is an agenda under all that bark, expanding and contracting.
Something is happening to ensure the buds have their say come spring.
How are you preserving us, O Lord, through the winter of the soul?

 The family is off and running now and I should be, too,
but there are words to share between me and you.
Words that beckon from the deep, where, unclad, we go
unafraid of scorching fire, wind or snow.
Because I am me and you are you,
there’s no use fighting the way we do.
So shed those leaves and stand up tall
there’s really nothing to fear at all.
Though winds may howl and some real loud,
your bark I biting back so proud.
All of this goes on as the world passes by.
They never see the glory of what makes us you and I.
So keep my heart wrapped up inside this wood and bark,
especially when gale-force winds grow strong and days turn dark.
I’ll sway and move so gently within this patch of earth
until the Son comes calling to create in me new birth. 

Like those bare trees, swaying in the winter wind – there is much going on in our own lives (just below the frost line) to prepare for the growth to come. It may not seem like that at first glance. Spring has all the flowers and Fall has those bright colors.  But winter is also a time of growth, so deep and silent we might just miss it – sort of like a baby born to a peasant girl in a stable.  So, how is God preparing you in ways you cannot see?  As we say ‘goodbye’ to 2013 and look forward to the New Year 2014 ahead, may Jesus be born in you, growing stronger each day. May that ‘son’ shine on you, filling you with all the warmth and strength you will ever need in this winter of our lives!

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