Not so unusual, right? Thunder without rain. But looking out the window confirmed the bizarre phenomenon that I’ve only experienced once before…
Between rolls of thunder fell, ever so silently, a blanket of snow.
Thunder and snowfall. Together. Who knew such an ironic combination existed in nature?
Having lived in Kansas, I still associate thunder with lightning, wind and tornadoes. Strong, powerful, intimidating storms that send vulnerable humans into basements and closets in search of protection.
I have a healthy respect for thunder, having seen the aftermath of deadly storms more than once. But on Thursday, as I watched the gentle flakes fall lightly to the ground and melt, I had to shake my head at the irony. Nothing to be afraid of here, right? Yet even as the thought was forming, another blast shook the window I was looking through and made me jump.
Isn’t this paradox in nature just like God? The Lion and the Lamb.
The Lion of Judah – our strong, powerful, even intimidating Savior whose resurrection conquered death and whose return will render evil impotent – forever.
The Lamb of God – as a sheep before the Priests on the Day of Atonement, silently taking on the sins of a nation. A scapegoat for those who cannot save themselves. A sacrifice. An offering. A sheep led to the slaughter, whose redemption falls gently, like snow… refreshing. Healing. Clean.
But most of the time, it’s as if spiritually, we were raised in Kansas. We have that healthy respect for the God of the Old Testament – the One whose mighty hand wrought destruction and justice and discipline. The One whose Word alone packed a punch no mere human could hope to withstand.
We know what this God is capable of (as the thunder rolls), but He gives us His grace instead.
Yet, if His power didn’t thunder so, knocking our knees together and knocking the socks right off of our feet, wouldn’t we take Him for granted? Wouldn’t we be tempted to overlook His gentle graces, falling as they do in silence, often unnoticed by those whose gaze is directed somewhere other than out the window?
The thunder grabs our attention. The snowfall holds us captive, nose pressed to the glass, its delicate detail drawing us further and further into the wonderland that exists outside of ourselves.
On Thursday morning I shuddered at the sudden display of power in the thunder’s boom and marveled at the tenderness of the glittering snow.
Loud and silent.
Strong and gentle.
Thunder and snowfall.
A picture of God.