I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
wait for the Lord; be strong, let your heart take courage;
hope for the Lord.
[The Hebrew word “wait” can also be translated “hope”.]
Each of us is a miracle of beauty, a masterpiece of design — but also vulnerable to meltdowns.
Wilson Alwyn Bentley, who lived from 1865 to 1931, examined snowflakes under a microscope and discovered that they were all miracles of beauty. “Every crystal was a masterpiece of design, and no one design was ever repeated,” he wrote. “When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind. He lived in Vermont and was fascinated by snow. He found a way to put snowflakes on black velvet and photograph them, testing the hypothesis that no two are exactly the same. He photographed and published more than 5,000 individual snowflakes, and today you can see his work at the Buffalo Museum of Science.
Each of us is a miracle of beauty, a masterpiece of design, and no one design is ever repeated. Are we irregular? Of course! All kinds of irregularities — physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, you name it. We are irregular human beings but still miracles of beauty, shaped in utter uniqueness by a loving Creator. Maybe we can describe Our Lord as the God of the snowflakes. Psalm 27 begins with the words, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (v. 1). If we are, in fact, God’s snowflakes — precious, unique and transient — then we need the Lord to preserve us and act as a stronghold for us. Otherwise, we’re going to melt, disappear and be lost forever.
Faith and hope are very closely related. Of course we are surrounded by difficulties that can cause us to succumb. However, as long as we wait and hope in the Lord we are not going to end up losing the battles we have to face. Each of us is special, there has never been a duplicate of you, and there will never be a duplicate of you. Even if cloning becomes viable; that clone cannot automatically respond to situations the same way you will. Lately we have been thinking a lot about what it means to be community, together or not, about forgiveness, loneliness and separations. Each of the snowflakes, blown by the wind, landing wherever, end up in a pile of similar yet still unique others. We do the same. As a former Vermonter, standing outside when the snow is gently falling can be spiritually rewarding. Just knowing that each tiny flake is uniquely special, and so are we, encourages us to put our trust in our Creator God who makes all things new. Be of good cheer, be strong, and trust that the God of the truly special has a place for you.
Hymn 358, v. 4
Drop Thy still dews of quietness, till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.
O God, help us know the hope, faith, and especially trust, that
gives us all we need to continue our living walk in you.
We thank you that we are made so wondrously and have the
opportunities to share ourselves in love of you.
Bless that sharing in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor David Brosnan