We had our first real snow of the winter last night. Apart from the fact that it made me realize I miss the two hour delays I used to get as a kid, the snow got me thinking about grace.
The backyard of our house goes right up against the edge of a farmer field, who alternates between soybeans and corn. When it’s soybeans, there really isn’t anything left after harvest. However, when the farmer had planted corn, there are little stalks left all over the place. Seeing as how I grew up in western Ohio, it’s fairly common to see corn and bean fields all over the place.
But there was something about the last time I saw the corn field after fresh snow got me thinking.
In Isaiah, we’re told that “though our sins are like scarlet, they will be like white snow”. There is something about fresh snow that intuitively reminds us of purity and innocence. It’s peaceful to look out over unblemished snow.
I suppose that’s why it seems odd for me to look out over what should be a field of smooth snow and see little brown spikes sticking out of this otherwise peaceful setting. There was also something that struck me as very true about it.
I have a bad habit of drudging up my past shortcomings time and time again. Inappropriate comments I made, poor decisions I made (or didn’t make), or missed opportunities. I know I’m not the only person who can find themselves playing their life’s ‘blooper reel’.
It’s easy for me to feel like those past mistakes are “sticking out” of my grace – not that I’m not forgiven. I just have an “ugly, prickly” grace. Sure, I may be “white as snow”, but it sure doesn’t feel that way.
I think there are times when God allows us to feel some of those mistakes in order to help us make corrections and become better people. I also think that we can cripple ourselves, overthinking our mistakes and flaws until they grow from underneath the snow, poking through like ugly, dead corn stalks.
It’s okay to have an ugly, prickly grace if it leads to growth.
It’s destructive if you think you deserve it.
So embrace the prickliness of grace. Let some of the flaws poke through for a bit.
Then realize everyone’s a little prickly in their grace.
I love y’all and there’s nothing you can do about it.