Smoothed over

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There’s something amazing about snow. Not just that it’s heaps of water vapor frozen into patterned ice crystals. (Though that is cool!) It’s the effect that snow has as it falls. Life becomes quieter. Fresher. New again.

I spent time on Saturday watching the snow pile up and blanket the ground and yard. Everything was smooth. And cold. Very cold. But it was the smoothing effect that made me pause.

I thought about the latest round of angry posts on social media, postulating whether or not this politician or that is a “Christian.”  There were snotty comments about events in the world’s history, events  where human beings were cruel and ruthless in their wars. It struck me that all of these battles started with a feud of sorts that grew into altercations, and then widespread hostilities. And then war. Or just an “armed conflict.”

As a woman of strongly held opinions, I understand why there are emotional and personal responses to a disagreement. There are many times that I can hardly keep silent — my desire to respond overwhelms my “mouth filter.”

But as I sat and reflected over the weekend, as the snow piled up and created a lovely and smooth blanket over the potholes in my street, I realized… choosing to not respond is an option. Not in a way that subjects me to abuse or mistreatment, but in a willingness to walk away from the habit of insisting I get things done “my way.”

Peter, the brash and opinionated disciple, certainly stumbled in the opinion department. I identify with his habit of “stepping in it” when he quickly reacted to a situation. And though he frequently failed to respond as Christ expected, he was restored over and over to a place of leadership and trust. Perhaps this is why he wrote about the role of extending love and grace to one another:

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4)

I don’t know as I’ll get a handle on this before the next snowfall… but I know that it is important to learn how to defer to someone by allowing the love and grace of Christ to flow in me, to others.

By the grace of God.

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