January, the dead of winter. I lie awake at night and listen to the wind outside my window. It sounds cold and lonely, on its way to somewhere it doesn’t care to go. It is not the same wind that I hear on a summer night–the one that plays with careless abandon, whispering through leaves on its way to greet a gentle dawn. The wind on a January night travels alone, snapping at the heels of the darkness like a starving dog, its teeth sharp and quick.
There is the faint sound of scratching in the night. The naked branches of bushes rub up against the house, begging to be let in, where they might find some warmth. Caught in dreamless slumber, they’ve forgotten the departed summer and crickets chirping from beneath the deck. I pull my covers up over my head, hoping to escape the lonely sound of their frozen, windswept dance, but the wind has caught them up in her embrace, and the song they move to plays long into the night.
Here, in the dead of winter, lies the very secret of a man’s soul. In this time of stillness and solitude, when the sun teases the sky but will not share her warm embrace, one finds the meaning of faith. Now, when the nights are long and the days short, there is more to believe in than the simple miracle of spring. If life can be born, time and again, from the frozen land, who can begin to say what the human heart is capable of delivering? We are far more than a winter wind lost in the darkness. When we cry out through the frozen air, we should take heed to listen for an answer. Unlike the wind, we do not travel alone. The Son is there, we need only believe.
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