Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Snow, Glorious Snow: A Spiritual Metaphor

What can be more perfect, more pristine than a layer of fresh snow? We've had lots of new snow lately here in Rostov-on-Don and I love to walk through the magic. Its perfect whiteness reminds me that our Holy Father longs to transform our personal landscapes, covering up the ugliness with His sparkling perfection.
Two weeks ago, a mama and her boys enjoying fresh snow, using the sled to transporting the little guy. (Click to enlarge.) Thanks folks for being such willing models.
Here in southern Russia, snow is beautiful a few days before a thawing and refreezing cycle begins. Soon the winter wonderland is reduced to a sloppy, slushy mess and, once again, the litter, cigarette butts and doggy business are on display. 
And that's where the spiritual analogy breaks down. When God cleanses us, He deep-cleans the whole way down. He does more than sprinkle some pretty over the muck and yuck. 
Well, here's the same spot ten days later after warmer temperatures: Significantly less enchanting.

Friends, here's a glimpse into of Russian winter, both pretty and ugly. I'm sharing lots more of the pretty, because after all, we are encouraged to think about the good stuff  We read . . . whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. (Philippians 4:8, NIV). I'd say that applies here too.

Anything sweeter than a baby? His whole life is ahead of him.

A car heading home from work, north on Semashka Street.

Willing models, these girls. Happened upon them as they were taking their photo together. Grabbed my camera to capture them but a bit late. They were still laughing about our encounter when they were halfway down the block. See, Russian girls can be giggly too. 

Almost dusk on Voroshilovsky Street near the Central City Hospital.

Pyshkinskaya, a pedestrian-only boulevard some 16-some blocks long, is a quiet oasis in  the heart of the city.

Pedestrians on a side street heading home, probably thinking about dinner. And that's probably be sausage and potatoes. Or pelmeni. 

This fellow's heading north on Semashka, passing МЧС, the Department of Emergency Services, administrative headquarters for southern Russia.

Two ladies catching up with each other. Perhaps they were once co-workers, now retired and have lots to discuss.

Hold on, here's some slop and slush.

Voroshilovsky Prospect looking north. There is one spot of beauty, one redeeming bit of loveliness in this photo: A vendor is selling roses at the red table there, barely visible under the billboard. And that brought some sunshine to the bleak view.

Here's ugly on Gazetney Street: Snow trickling down toward the Don River, about one kilometer to go. One visitor to Rostov, an architect in New York City, pointed out the lack of drainage culverts on the streets. Aha! So that's why these streets can be such a mess. 

How about something special to wrap up. Here's a winter view that's made me laugh. Last month in Ternopil, Ukraine, I looked out the church building window after worship and had to grab my camera. Do you see anything unusual?

Someone's being pulled on a sled and that's a common sight. But only for children. Let's zoom on in because that person doesn't look like a kid!

Sure enough, this energetic fellow is pulling a woman up the hill. I'm guessing it's his grandmother. Perhaps they're going to the little grocery store just up the street. Now that's is true devotion!

Dear Blog-reading friends, wishing you the most beautiful of layer of pure whiteness in your landscape, in your heart and in your soul this winter! And tell me, what do You think about snow as a spiritual metaphor? Does it work. . . . or am I all wet? ;)


S/V Blondie-Dog said...

Interesting pics. Thanks.

cindy byrd said...

Love this walk with you, Eileen! and the correlation of God's love covering us and cleansing us deep down!
Love, Prayers and Blessin's,
cindy b