Our human insignificance and the One who makes us matter
Meditations on snow, stars and Good Friday.
“As long as we are not quite sure we are unworthy, God will keep narrowing us in until he gets us alone.” Oswald Chambers
There’s a kind of loneliness that almost befriends you. A kind that wraps around me, scarf-like, as I ski across the fields. The snow is much like I imagine manna would have been, layers of giant white flakes. The sun shining on each flake.
But when I skirt the shadows of the woods, the snow becomes listless, plain Jane, just a wrinkly white sheet.
And I think how we are like snowflakes. How we are nothing without the light. Any radiance, any glory we exhibit comes from the One who shines down on us.
Isaiah calls us “grass” – like snowflakes, here one minute and then, pressed into a ball or flattened by a ski or melted by the very sun that made us shine.
The same light that creates shadows is the heat of a thousand stars, the fire of God which burns off chaff but refines gold.
Scriptures tell us the King dwells in unapproachable light, and yet I take comfort in this: when seated on his lap, we too are hidden by such a light, that no evil might approach us.
Part of Creation
This staring up at the light engulfs one with smallness. My oldest son experienced it the other night, when he stepped out onto our deck. Here on the farm, the sky stretches, unhindered.
My 13-year-old said he realized, suddenly, how very insignificant he was, under the symphony of stars. “So I came back inside,” he said. No doubt quoting Calvin and Hobbes, of course.
Madeleine L’Engle says, “Jacob (who spent his night on a stone beneath the sky) would not have been blinded to the glory of the stars as part of the interdependence of the desert, the human being, the smallest insects, all part of Creation.”
What if we were to stay in our smallness, in the darkness? Would we not then get alone with Jesus? Would he not expound to us the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, as he did his disciples when they finally escaped the crowds?
Light breaks free
Even as snowflakes melt with the warm breath of spring, they’ll turn into water which will run like the sweat on Jesus’ brow, on the cross, in the shadow of God’s turned back.
And there, in the darkness of storm and sky, the One who hung the sun and stars hung on a beam of wood, feeling our insignificance, our smallness. Crying out, “Abba, Father” – teaching us, too, to cry out in the night, to the only One who can save us.
And then, like Easter triumph, light breaks free of cloud and death and declares once and for all, It is finished! The darkness is finished.
All of God’s saints, to be gathered up one day like particles, into the One who makes us matter.