But one frosty morning I noticed some fallen leaves in the gutter and bent down for a closer look. I was captivated by what I saw. I grabbed my camera and, freezing as it was, the beauty I was seeing through the lens made the cold seem incidental. It was a miniature world of wonder.
Hoar frost adds another of layer of loveliness to the winter landscape. Frost has a beauty of its own … its delicate branching patterns of ice crystals add magic and turn the ordinary into something quite extraordinary.
Because of its crystalline structure, it scatters the light in many directions, which is why it appears white even though each crystal is translucent.
The name ‘hoar’ comes from an Old English adjective that means "showing signs of old age"; in this context it refers to the frost making plant material look like it has white hair, and therein lies the magic!
I’m continuing to wander through the book of Romans and this week Ch12:17 made me think about winter, of the beauty that’s hidden beneath a bleak and biting landscape. Peterson translates it, “See the beauty in everyone” … not just the obviously kind, caring and generous people, but the cold and distant, the prickly and difficult-to-get-along-with and those who think and believe very differently to me.
That’s not an easy call. It requires me to get closer and look deeper. To take the time to listen and be involved so I can see beyond the obvious and external. To discover what is underneath … in the heart.
How true of life. The ‘filters’ of my judgements and preconceived ideas, my blind spots and too hasty assumptions and even my beliefs, can obscure my view of others. What I think about them determines what I see.
The next few verses go on to call me to let go of judgements; they are not my prerogative. It’s not up to me to decide if someone is worthy but to endeavour to see everyone as God sees them. I have no way of knowing what they are struggling with or what has brought them to this point in life.
This week I’ve been challenged to look long and hard at the ‘filters’ through which I view the world … the ‘filters’ that can distort the way I see others. Beauty doesn’t always look like the softness of spring or the vibrancy of autumn; sometimes it looks tough and harsh like the faces of winter … courage, perseverance and endurance.
It’s not my place to judge. I'm only called to love and be open to finding the beauty in others.