I look out the dining-room window as he makes another sweep through the driveway with the tractor. He’s been out there all day pushing snow in our driveway, and his mother’s driveway, and out by the hog barns.
But it keeps blowing back in, stubborn as it is in this wind.
The sun is dropping low, orange-tinting our white world, and he’s turned on the tractor lights.
It will be a while yet, so I turn the oven dial low.
This is what my favorite farmer harvests during one of the snowiest winters in Iowa history.
He opens the garage door, and shakes winter onto the rug.
“I dumped 100 bucket-loads out there,” says the rosy-cheeked farmer with fogged-over eyeglasses. “And that was just tonight.”
“If it keeps snowing, I don’t know where I’m going to go with it all. We’ve run out of room.”
And I see my sin like that. Stacked up in piles, pushed to the sides, just far enough so I can pass through the tunnel on my way to somewhere else. But it sits there still, bucket-load upon bucket-load of sin.
And I say to God: “Where do I go with all of this? I’ve run out of room.”
And He beckons me: Bring it to the cross.
It’s Ash Wednesday. As a community of Christ followers, we begin our 40 days of repentance and prayer and fasting.
We do this year-round, too.
We repent, daily. For we sin, daily.
We pray, hourly. Because we need Him, every hour. Oh Lord, I need Thee every hour.
But on this day, our repentance and prayer is more of a focused march toward Easter, toward a cross, toward an empty tomb and toward the hope found in forgiveness. For forty days, I bow ever lower, ever more aware of my daily need for a Savior …
I look out the window at piles of snow — like white ash that blows. And I remember that I, too, am dust.
Where do I go with all of it, Lord? Where do I take all this sin? How is it that you can look upon me and all this wretchedness that is in me? I am — all at once — both saint and sinner. A mess in my flesh, holy only through Christ.
O my God, where do I go with all of this sin,
with all of my two-faced heart?
And He answers in His Word:
“Yet even now, says the Lord,
Return to me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
Rend your hearts and not your clothing.”
— Joel 2:12-13
We begin again with the Son who thaws cold hearts …
Each Wednesday, I join Ann Voskamp at Holy Experience as we explore spiritual practices that draw us nearer to God’s heart. This walk she asks us to consider this: Sinners Repenting.