19 days until spring

So today is March 1st. It doesn't feel like it, though. It is a day without sunshine, and the temperature is plummeting as a snowstorm comes our way. Many inches of snow are expected. The children are ready to sled.

A few years ago I first read Hannah Hurnard's Hind's Feet on High Places, an allegory of Jesus Christ's relationship with people. The author uses pictures of nature and creatures to weave the sometimes mysterious truths of God's great Love for us focusing on a central character, Much-Afraid whose name eventually is changed to Grace and Glory. 

Mountains of Spices is the sequel to Hind's Feet on High Places, and I just began reading it yesterday. It's quite refreshing to be transported to rapt descriptions of nature's beauty as we currently are living through Winter's (hopefully) last song. 

Chapter two has a wonderful description that really took me to a warm, colorful place today. This book is about Love. Especially, loving those who are unlovely. And don't we all have the propensity for unloveliness (what I tell my children is "acting ugly"), and being in need of love? The book takes loving a step further and true loving is done without need of being recognized or even accepted. Now, there is something to ponder: am I willing to love, even if no one cares or notices?!

Below is a tidbit from chapter two. If you do choose to read these books, make sure to read them in order to receive the full scope of the characters and story.

Down in the valley far below were the green pastures where the flocks were grazing. She [Grace and Glory] pictured all the myriad little blades of grass giving themselves freely to nourish the flocks and herds. She remembered the unnumbered wild flowers giving forth their sweetness and beauty and perfume even in places where there was no eye to see them, no onlooker to appreciate them, ready to be trampled down and broken, or else to bloom their whole life long without receiving praise or recompense. Then she looked at the trees of love growing all around them as they sat up there on the mountain, saw how laden they were with fruit which others were to pluck and enjoy, finding all the meaning of their existence in this ministry of giving.

She looked up at the sun shining overhead, shedding its light and warmth so freely upon all, on the evil and the good, on the unjust as well as the just, on all alike! She saw that in its self-giving and self-sharing and in its willingness to enter into and become one with all who would open to receive its light and warmth, it was indeed the great symbol of perfect love. She looked at the streamlets all hurrying to go lower and lower and to give themselves to refresh all thirsty things along their banks. Everywhere she looked she saw nature exulting to give and to share with others, and, by thus doing, to become one with them. 

-from Mountains of Spices, Chapter Two by Hannah Hurnard