Wind whips snow drifts haphazardly around manicured bushes and barren tree branches. The world is blanketed in white, and still the white keeps falling, coating, piling. Denver, Colorado, don’t hold your breath, but we are apparently in for the “storm of the season.”
Just days ago I came from mountains of snow – literally – with nearly 100 seventh grade students and their ski gear piled into two large school buses. I waded through forested paths with snow shoes and careened down slopes of fresh powder on shaky legs. All with my kids. My nearly 100 seventh graders. The ones I that claim as “mine” this year, and the ones that claim my heart.
For three days, I mothered chapped faces, hugged wet bodies, and laughed uproariously at jokes only 13-year-olds find funny. My legs ached from downhill exertion. My hips hurt from bruises incurred while sledding belly-first down a makeshift cardboard-box pathway. My abs reminded me daily that I hadn’t laughed this much or for this long in months. I’m in love.
Rolling down the hill with a particularly goofy kid, I pummeled him with snow and chased him down the darkness of our sledding slope. Exhausted, we fell into the snow and made snow angels until the cold and laughter at the top of the hill beckoned us back up the steep incline.
For three days, I lived in a dream world.
A world where I am a mother. A world where I can make all of my kids hurts feel better. A world where I hug dozens good morning and urge dozens more to finally fall asleep at night. A world full of yummy snacks and silly games. A world full of Holy Spirit inspired chapels. A world full of salvation.
At least one of my class leaders committed his heart to Christ this week. Not in a subtle, bashful way. But, rather, in an open-heart and open-mouthed proclamation of, “Last night’s chapel changed my life.”
He is one of the reasons that I do what I do.
My team of teachers – friends, really – were witnesses to the power of Love this week. God’s love. His unending, overshadowing, all-encompassing love. Love that beckons kids with broken homes. Love that wraps grieving hearts in comfort. Love that makes us belong. Love that tastes of miracles.
Each one of us – students and teachers – went home this weekend to unanswered miracles. Handicapped siblings. Miscarriages. Divorce. Physical disease. Emotional hurt. Infertility. Yet, first, we tasted the goodness of God. The incredible presence of pure Love.
I pray that we never look back.