The 40 Days of Freeze

Laura Heming, Editor-in-Chief

February 2015

I take a look at the squalls that quietly knock upon the netting of my window. I grossly misjudge the temperature of this sunny day as my senseless face reminds me that apparently the South Pole has decided to expand onto my street overnight. I wave hello to the friendly penguins dropping the kids off at the bus, pass the polar bears taking out their garbage with a yawn, and softly remind myself, as the three feet of snow engulf my steps, “I’m sure California is looking for some fresh graduates to occupy their beach houses soon”.

 To shed a little light on my (slightly) exaggerated anecdote, I somehow sense that this ‘polar vortex’ serves as an unconventional and somewhat painful metaphor. There are always little truths tucked into the seams of these personal or communal hardships we go through — ones worth digging into and acknowledging. It’s something our mothers always told us, but, let’s admit it, we’re finding it truer with time.

 If nothing else, finding a metaphor can be quite helpful in letting go of the bitterness we currently have for our beautiful country.

 Back to my point. I can’t help but draw a parallel from the daily constant struggle of winter, whatever that may mean for you. Maybe it’s starting your car, walking to the bus stop, walking to school, etc. The parallel between this winter battle and the season of lent we are currently in, and what it was meant to look like.

 My initial reaction to the beginning of the lent season was: “Oh, yes! A perfect time to give up a social media giant!” which, in essence, is not a bad thing at all. However, I started to feel like I was somehow missing the point. I was giving up something I would in all honesty get back after the 40 days was through.

 I didn’t want this lent to be a daily yearning for the day when I could gain back a vice I had earlier given up. I wanted it to be a daily gift bringing to Jesus — the gift of my time.

 I feel that perhaps these 40 days are meant to be a struggle, but one that will give us new life when Jesus returns, or the day we recognize as His rising day. That Jesus will refine my struggle to make time for Him daily, and on the 40th day put my struggle of complacency to death, and raise in me a newfound love for His presence.

 In the same way, this is what the admittedly awful winter parallels. It is a cold, hard, daily struggle. We get upset and bitter and frustrated. But when the tips of the daises finally show their faces, and the snow turns into a fresh drink for the hidden grasses, we know that spring has finally come, and there is hope for freedom from cold, dreary days.

 It is within the struggle that we eventually appreciate the newness of the outcome. Let us find hope in the fact that our strivings are never all for naught. There is newness, there is freedom, and there is life where darkness is trod through.