A Blessing to Walk Around In Daily Devotional

Art, Poetry, Music, and Nature for the New Year
Sunday, January 17 2021

The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27



Icebound (1889), by John Henry Twachtman

In summer, I’d easily walk barefoot up that riverbed, watching the water pool and spin, stepping over bouldering rocks and picking up grey-blue pebbles. But in John Henry Twachman’s Icebound, you have to imagine he couldn’t have spent too much time there painting before his fingers (and paintbrush) froze, the patches of blue in winter divulging an icy breeze. And, I hope the way home is behind him instead of across the river: crossing now could be treacherous.

I’m encouraged by Twachtman’s hypothesis that winter fuels reflection and regeneration. He says, “Never is nature more lovely than when it is snowing. Everything is so quiet and… all of nature is hushed into silence.” He often painted the icy rivers near his home town, somehow capturing winter’s tranquility. It is an invitation to walk out into the hushed silence of these short winter days and look for ourselves: the winter air vibrates with possibility and pushes us closer to the divine.

May there be a hushed silence, O God, where we might sense a thrumming of your presence. Amen.


January 17, 2021

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