Monday, November 28, 2011

White as Snow

Our first snowboard/ski trip is in a week! It is forecast to be 70 degrees today, and the ski mountain is only 2 hours away. The ski season in NC is unpredictable, and it doesn't feel likely that there will be snow, even the fake snow those resorts can produce, given the current warmth. But you never know. The weather, like life, can turn on a dime.

I have been having an extended Facebook discussion with someone that I am not even sure how I know her. She feels that we should butt out of Iran's affairs, and if they want nuclear weapons, let them have them! She is unconcerned and in fact doesn't believe the threats that Iran's leader has made against Israel. We have had several back and forths about the moral/legal rights of the Jews vs. the Palestinians. I have learned a great deal in carrying on this discussion. For one, I have learned that I have vastly different views from this person and nothing I say seems to matter. But apparently a common argument for Palestinian rights to the land is that they are descended from the Philistines, who this woman claims, were there first. A little research blows that myth out of the water however. The Philistines were not even Arab. They were from Crete, and invaded the land of Canaan. They are now an extinct group- no one can legitimately claim roots to them, and if they could, they would recognize the Philistines have no legitimate claim on the Palestine area. The Palestinians were largely Jordanians, who upon the Jewish homeland being reestablished, became Palestinians overnight. There is no Palestinian nation, nor has there ever been one. Now, I can't read everything out there  but the several articles I did read supported this. However, the point that really hit me is that here was someone getting furious with me, using capital letters to scream at me in email, but she insists if we just treat the Arab nations more nicely, they would love us back. I don't know. History is not with her on this.

I remember when the cops subdued Rodney King, driving over a hundred miles an hour with 2 and 1/2 the legal blood alchohol limit. The cops were brutal when they caught him, and his plaintive oft quoted response later was, "Can't we all just get along?"
I certainly do not uphold police brutality, but honestly, this convicted felon who had a history of brutal crime and would go on to be arrested for other crimes was hardly the poster child to wonder why human beings aren't nicer to each other.

On the other hand, on one point, I could not agree with this Facebook acquaintance more. War is horrid. We should never enter war without the absolute most egregious provocation. But the discussion brought me in my own conscience to a more personal level. How well do I get along with my family or friends when we reach sharp differences in opinion? How well do I treat the people I meet who find my views wrong, or offensive? I have to admit that I doubt Jesus would be applauding my efforts at times. If I can't get along with those I love best perfectly, with motives as pure as the snow that I hope will be on the ski mountain in a could I begin to think nations would exist in peace? In the end, it all boils down to the human heart, and to be even more specific, my human heart. I don't know about you, but my heart is usually not holy and righteous. I try....really I do, but failure knocks me down at least a few hundred times a day.

And then I look at the little creche Asherel made for me. I keep it out all year long, as a reminder. Jesus came into the world that I might know peace, that I might understand purity, that I might be cleansed and restored to my eternal homeland. I fail, but He did not. He did exactly what He was born to do and He did it perfectly. I have four little creches out at Christmas. I need reminders wherever I look, and this season always thrills me....even when there is no snow.

Isaiah 1:17-19

17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
   Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
   plead the case of the widow.
 18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,”
   says the LORD.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
   they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
   they shall be like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
   you will eat the good things of the land;


  1. I just had to chime in and tell you that your painting with this entry is just beautiful! And yes, this season thrills me too whenever I think about what it really means.

  2. Thanks so much Amy. I love winter scenery!