I love when I see summer flowers blooming in winter! I had to snap a picture of my orchid and anthurium blooming side by side in the window.
If you look past them, you will see my yard covered in snow and the temperature outside a balmy -21 C.
I have written many times about my love-hate relationship with winter. Living in Southern Alberta, the fluctuating temperatures that go from +24 C to -10 C in less than twelve hours is not that unusual here. When a Chinook wind blows in we can go from a bone-chilling -32 C to above zero in a few hours. Those like me, who are sensitive to the rise and fall of the barometric pressures, endure the migraines that inevitably come. Still, Alberta is one of the sunniest provinces in all of Canada. The west coast may have the milder weather, but we have the sun. It’s the compromise I can live with.
I looked over at her, sitting beside her sweet husband in church last Sunday. She found out a week ago she has colon cancer. She had the most radiant smile on her face as she sang “Joy to the World”. A few rows behind me I heard the harmonizing voice of another friend. Last year she had her husband beside her, this year she faces her first Christmas without him. I turn slightly and see sitting together an older couple who have just recently started to attend our church. They moved to our town to be closer to their children and grandchildren. They were just settling in when their son was horrifically burned in a house fire. He remains in hospital, and recovery will be long, but they have a peace that surpasses all understanding. “Prayers have sustained us!” They say, as I let them know after the service that I continue to pray for their family.
I must not forget those who have triumphed, and overcome health crises over this year too. A dear man who we almost lost to a sepsis infection in the summer, returns my hug with renewed vigour. He understands, as I do the meaning of “second chances”. I pass young, expectant moms, busy families with toddlers, teenagers sauntering past me, and I realize I am on the roller coaster of life, with all its ups and downs with all these dear ones on the ride with me. It humbles me, and I am honoured to be amongst them. We step out from the warmth of the church building into the blistering cold of winter, but feel the sun in our faces and are miraculously renewed.
The One constant in our lives – never changing. We “bloom” where He plants us, we face all the seasons of life, because of His Great Love for us. No matter our circumstances, we find Joy in His presence. The Son always Rises.
Emmanuel – God with us.