Sunday, January 31, 2010

Old Dimes and New

A winter storm blew through Tennessee three days ago. It began it's work of snow and ice in the southern plains and basically travelled on I-40 East all the way through North Carolina, leaving a white-covered world in its wake. Though we received several inches of snow and a thorough coating of ice, we were more fortunate than some and didn't lose power, which is good for more reasons than warmth and convenience since our water well runs on electricity!

The storm began innocently enough with gentle snowflakes, but before it was finished we had horses looking more like horscicles with their icy manes and tails, and a thick crust of ice over the snow, making it necessary to punch through with every footstep in order to walk up to the barn. Good exercise, especially going uphill, but a little more treacherous going downhill!

Then last night the clouds cleared away and the incredible, unearthly beauty of a full moon shone on all that snow and ice! How to describe such a scene? I could either use a hundred words or condense it down to one ... silvery. As John and I stood on the front porch and gazed at the scene, it was like looking out on a world wrought in silver. Now I've spent the last several days cleaning coins both old and new (a story for another blog), and all I could think of while surveying the beautiful night time view, was "old silver." The charcoal grey of the sky, the soft, white shining snow, the brilliant twinkling of stars and ice-covered trees and ground showed forth that old, warm brilliance of aged and worn silver, the kind of silver you've seen in old china cabinets in the homes of old families; well-used, well-worn, and well-loved with years of service and beauty. That's what the night looked like.
The next morning was another picture altogether! Such sun-dazzling, sparkling, brilliant white! Every ice crystal on the snow leapt up in the sunlight - it was as if there were 3-D sparkles everywhere! Again, after haying and chores, I stood on the front porch surveyed the view, thinking of the difference between last night's snow and ice scene and this morning's scene, and again I thought of silver; but this time it was the silver of a bright new dime, stunningly beautiful with it's brilliant pristine polish. But as I looked and pondered, it occurred to me that perhaps I preferred the softer glow of older silver."For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried." (Psalm 66:10)
"He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord." (Malachi 3:3)

Perhaps after all these years I have become more like those old silver coins; rubbed and refined to a good, old polish. The flash and brilliance has faded, but hopefully what is true and pure has remained, to the glory and praise of the Refiner.