Be strong and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord.
The extreme cold seems to have brought with it silence and stillness, as if it has us all in a kind of chokehold. Nothing moves in the early hour. Even the fierce wind has abated and I imagine the neighborhood around me holding its breath, not daring to step out into this arctic morning.
Then, braving the deathlike chill, a chirping bird.
I cannot see him, but I know he is tiny. One of those sparrows whom God loves. And I am in awe of the vulnerability of that small warm body singing sweetness and exuberance into this frozen landscape.
How can I not be encouraged by such cheerfulness?
The sun begins to shine, its brightness a gift against the harsh cold and I find strength to face into the day knowing that these signs of God’s presence are to be found all along the way.