Sunday, December 08, 2013

Cold days, warm hearts...

This past week, the cold has been so deep it hurts.  There is cold, and then there is painful cold.  Twenty-four below zero is a painful kind of cold.  It always seems to be very still when it happens, no wind, just deep, penetrating cold.  The picture was taken at sundown.  When it is cold and still like this, light tends to shoot straight up in channels.  I've seen it happen at night when lights from the ground appear to shoot up, but I've never seen the setting sun look like this.   I don't know the science behind it, I just know it happens.

 The cows are sustaining themselves just fine as long as we are diligent to get to them with hay and cake.  Hubs goes out in the tractor and I take the pick-up truck with the cake feeder.  NumberOneSon feeds the weaned calves with a bale processor contraption that works quite nicely.  The cows were huddled together in the draw out of the wind this morning.  The wind did pick up today and the temperatures rose with it -- about 4* above zero for a high.  It still felt very raw and bitter to me.

 The sheep have a deep, woolly fleece that protects them from this cold.  It doesn't seem to bother them at all, but I know their tummies get empty and they need to fuel up too.

 As I was out in choring, feeding the livestock, and chopping ice to open water tanks, I was thinking about how the cold is often used to describe a heart without love -- chilly, bitter, biting, frozen, hard, icy, arctic, lifeless, dark, empty, frigid, stiff, numb, painful, dead.   When I came into the house and took off all my frosted coat and pants and wet mittens and set my boots beside the heater, I thought of how that same cold heart feels when it comes into the warm presence of the Love of Jesus.  There can be prickly pain as the icy hardness starts to melt and soften the once stiff ,frost-bit flesh;  there is a heightened awareness of how cold the cold really was when the flesh comes back to life and begins to move and feel once more.  There is a desire not to go back to that frigid cold, but instead to sidle up to the warmth of the kindled fire burning in the stove, to get as close as possible without catching fire, to breath in the warm air and drink up a hot mug of steamy tea or coffee, to sit and soak it in until all the blood runs warm again.

Let's light a candle.  It's Advent and He is near to warm us and light the way.

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..."  ~James 4:8

13 comments:

  1. Am not missing that cold at all! Stay safe and warm....

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  2. This is so wonderful, Jody -- except for the pain of the cold :-)
    I love your spiritual analogy. Put it on my Facebook page.

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  3. The image of you thinking of that litany of cold inflexible words while out breaking ice.....chop chop chopping in the cold... such a powerful analogy. What a present from on high on such a very cold day. I hope the action of typing it up for us warmed your fingers with a lovely flexible warmth!

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  4. Brrrrrr. Praying for you in the deep cold, Jody. The animals, too.

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  5. Beautiful post, Jody.

    I have never experienced the kind of cold you all are having now and find it hard to imagine.

    The picture of the light shooting up is wonderful!

    xofrances

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  6. Oh Wow -- that is bitter cold Jody. I always wonder how the poor animals manage at this time of year. They're so lucky that they have you. Stay Warm!

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  7. I can't begin to imagine the kind if cold Jody, I've only experienced down to -17 in Norway...brrrr. The sunset is quite awesome and your devotional words are inspiring. Thanks x

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  8. That is so interesting about the light shooting up like that. Oh my that is mighty cold for sure!!
    Love your thoughts about the cold and the warmth that can be ours from the Lord.

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  9. Bless you for doing what you need to in this cold weather. The photos are beautiful. My fingers are so cold I can hardly type. We are at 16 degrees here with sun today. That must feel tropical to you. 304 accidents on the freeways here in the valley. I will be glad when it warms up a bit. Stay warm!

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  10. I can't fathom what that sort of cold is like, Jody. It strikes me both as very beautiful and somewhat horrific all at the same time. And I really appreciate your thoughts, too. Those animal faces are so sweet. Stay warm and keep thinking and sharing!

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  11. Great photos. It finally warmed up enough here to start snowing again. I always think of they saying where the cold days make you appreciate the warm ones. Heck at this point I appreciate a balmy 40 degrees. Stay warm.

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  12. thanks for the insight!!! i couldn't help but laugh at myself, though, because i have been FREEZING too. only my kind of freezing is a high of 50 degrees here in central CA. i have my socks and boots on and i can't get warm. . .how embarrassing. . .

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  13. Beautifully said Jody. I have never been in the kind of cold. 12 degrees this week, seemed pretty darn cold to me. I so admire you xox Clarice

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