Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow Watching and Secrets

We just wrapped up a jubilant five-day weekend that concluded with three consecutive snow days.  In Texas, this is a rarity, so snow is met with equal portions of rejoicing at its fluffy white arrival and whining at its demise and the return to school.  Even though the ground that briefly was blanketed in glorious white is now a depressing muddy brown, the snow is still lightly falling.  And it is still stunningly exquisite.

I just took the dog out for a quick walk and stopped to examine the small collection of new snow on the kids’ trampoline.  What’s that grand old truth we all learned as kids?  “Every single snowflake is different and completely unique.”  My squinty, far-sighted eyes couldn’t see it, but I knew it was true, because I’ve seen the proof in pictures.  I have gotten lost marveling at images magnified hundreds and thousands of times to reveal the beauty in one tiny structure of frozen water.  Each one is sparkly and special and exclusively crafted to be one of a kind.

It hit me how this beauty must have lain undiscovered for a painfully long time.  When God first decided that snow would be a good idea, human eyes were unable to capture the magnificence.  It wasn’t until we humans invented some fancy looking glasses and other technological contraptions to help us out that we discovered this treasure.  Those tiny grand ice sculptures were there all along, but we had no idea.  Wow. I’m shaken a bit at this reminder that creation was not created just for us, but for its Creator and His “it is good” pleasure. 

I know some people who mirror this practice.  My friend, who is a passionate painter, often does a similar thing.  There are tiny secrets hidden in every painting, some sort of a shade or a stroke or a figure that only her eyes could pick out.  That detail has deep meaning to her. However, the rest of us could marvel at the beauty of the piece forever perhaps without discovering the secret, because she placed it there for herself, for her own amusement or sentiment.

The same is true with writers.  The turn of a word on itself, an allusion to a personal memory or love, a stashed-deep internal rhyme or even a character’s shoelaces may hold a cryptic treasure for its creator.  They exist as tiny pleasures that often only the artist can find, a specific thread woven into a massive tapestry.  And it makes him laugh or swell with warmth every time he sees it or hears it.  All because he knows the secret, he knows its significance and he alone can see its beauty.

But wait.  Then the artist shows YOU the treasure!  He excitedly points and says, “Look at this!  Look what I did here.  This is so special to me because . . .”  and suddenly the beauty is magnified to breathtaking, because you are in on the secret.  In fact, you begin to feel a deeper kinship with the artist himself, because now you have seen something below the surface.  You have been invited to know more, and now that treasured work becomes to you even more of a precious gift.

I like to imagine it like this:  There came a day some long time back when a man with a magnifying glass saw something different in the flakes of cold.  And in his heart he heard God say, “Look at this!  Look what I did here.”  And hopefully praise leapt to his lips in a way it had not before, because at last he was in on a holy secret and could finally see the full beauty intended by the Artist.

Whatever magnificent glories God is still holding tightly to His vest, I’m sure they all must make Him smile.  I wonder if He thinks of the day we'll "discover" them.  I wonder if He knows we could not handle seeing them all at once, so He reveals these little glimpses over the ages a bit at a time. However He is working, I’m resting assured those mysteries are there, awaiting our eyes and our praise. 

And that glorious white artistry just keeps on falling.