February 7, 2021
Last week’s twelve-inch snowfall was our largest since the 20 inches we got on January 23, 2016. Since then we haven’t had much snow, with almost none falling in 2019 and 2020. But it seems that once you get one snow, you are likely to get another, as if the hard thing is breaking the pattern, but once a new pattern is set the storms come one after another.
Swedenborg describes places in the spiritual world where there is deep snow, with people driving around in sleighs, even having to clear it away from the entrances so that people can get into church (True Christianity 185). While these are not the most exalted parts of the spiritual world as the people there lack warmth and wisdom, it is not hard to believe that there are places in heaven itself where there is skiing, skating and sledding, and where they play hockey and other winter sports.
It is interesting that Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day, both of which we celebrate this weekend, should come at this coldest and snowiest part of the year. Not to mention Swedenborg’s birthday and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day last month. Maybe this is fitting, in a perverse way, at a time when respect for national leaders and authority in general is at a low ebb, and when true love is as hard to find as it has ever been. Commemorating these days is aspirational, looking forward to a time of greater respect for government, when true love is less elusive, when racism is a thing of the past and when the things in the Writings are widely recognized and practiced. Notice how each of these aspirations supports the others.
We are in the middle of Bryn Athyn Church’s five-week small group series on “Practicing Kindness.” This weekend would be a good opportunity to express kindness to someone with a Valentine’s card, and to find a way to show respect and support for our current and past national leaders. Just as one snowfall seems to lead to more snow, it can be the same with our actions as well. One expression of kindness, love and support can lead to more of the same. Soon enough this snowy winter will give way to spring.