I confess that I play favorites when it comes to my snowman collection. Out of all the ceramic, stuffed, knitted, crocheted, wooden or glass cuties that come out to play during the Christmas season, these three are the ones I love the most.
Three years ago, when I unpacked the Christmas boxes that had survived a summertime sorting for a move, I discovered that these guys had accidentally been left to languish in the hot attic along with their more resilient buddies. Forgetting how overly sensitive to heat they were, I had allowed these wax candle snowguys to be carted off to the upper regions to endure oven-like temperatures!
“Oh no!” It was horrific. I could barely stand the thought of what they had been through: the squishing, the chipping, the cracking, not to mention the sheer torture of the melting, as their cute little double-marshmallow forms were being reshaped into something almost unrecognizable. Except for one thing.
Their smiles were still intact!!! How endearing it was to see that through it all they had maintained a positive outlook and retained their ability to bring joy to others, even me, their neglectful caretaker. As I tugged them loose from their snowman companions and scraped them clean of tissue and fuzz, I admired them for that.
And now, when all the other snowmen have been returned to their vacation home in the upper regions, I allow these three the privilege of sitting on the windowsill until the last snow. Why? They are survivors. They had been melted but not destroyed. They had been chipped but not broken. They have a special place in my heart because they are not just survivors. They are joyful survivors. See their smiles?
They remind me, like David, that when “my heart melted like wax within me” God was with me.
They remind me, like Paul, that “we are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
They remind me, if I forget, that it was not from a comfy home but from a prison cell that Paul admonished Christians to “count it all joy.”
Could it be that he was smiling as he wrote that?