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“Baptism by Snow”

Crystalline spectrums of liquid light and life
Descend upon a lifeless but wanting face
Like messengers of so sweet a song,
Reminding with each kiss of icy breath that
The wintry dust promises a new day and a new me.

~ M.

I find snow to be a startling paradox of life and death. Water has, for all of time, been a symbol of life and renewal. Plants grow with water, humans are sustained by it, and Christians everywhere view baptism by water as a sign (or more than a sign) of covenantal rebirth…life. Yet snow arrives during a frigid time of the year that is symbolized by death with the hope of spring and new life just around the corner. And so we have snow, the birth child of water and freezing temperatures, a union of life and death.

They say there are no two snowflakes alike. I have no idea how anyone could ever prove that, but I can fathom it and I’m willing to concede the argument for the sake of this point: God’s majesty overwhelms me by the thought of something so paradoxical yielding something so intricately unique and beautiful. It encourages me when I think of all the times that God does things that don’t make sense to me, which is often. I remember the snowflake, the union that doesn’t make sense yet which is able, like no other aspect of creation, to scream aloud God’s creative genius by descending silently to the earth in subtle glory. And then I think of the fact that most of the snow in this world is never witnessed by human eyes. It’s almost as if God did it just to marvel at His own artistry and didn’t need us to validate it…imagine that.

I wouldn’t want snowflakes to make sense; if they did, they’d lose their wonder. As for God? Well, I may say I want God to make sense to me, but I don’t think that’s always true. If He always did, would I realize my need for Him? Would I realize my place in this world? Would I be forced to recon with the immeasurable distance between Him and me? Snowflakes make sense to God, and God makes sense to God. So, for now, I’m content to marvel at them both, not in spite of their mystery, but rather because of it.

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This is Dave. Isn’t he precious? I don’t know if I’d be as trusting as he is of the cleanliness of that couch cusion, but it doesn’t look like he minds too much. Dave is an interesting person. He has an uncanny ability to turn the most mundane things into profound theological premises. Take the other night, for example: in no fewer than 2,000 words he described to me his most recent endeavor to relate the Smurfs to the New Testament’s use of 2nd Temple Judaic terminology. So, for instance, instead of saying, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith, not by works so that no one can boast,” one could just as easily say, “It is by grace you have been smurfed, through smurf, not by works so that no smurf can smurf.” I’m sure you see the connection. If not, don’t come to seminary; this is all we do here.

Now, as you can tell from the photo, all this thinking really tuckers the poor guy out. But so strong is his conviction that these questions need to be answered that he is willing to brave even the sanitary dangers of the couch so long as it affords him the mental energy to forge ahead. That’s dedication, ladies and gentlemen.

Basing his diet completely on raw vegetables and turkey sandwiches keeps him from wasting time cooking, which means more invaluable insights from the mind-o-dave, and thusly a better world.

Here are some little known facts about Dave:
1. He pronounces “cognac” phonetically.
2. He’s secretly vying with Tanner Capps and Andy Coleman to be the beard-successor to Dr. Dan McCartney. He’s losing.
3. He doesn’t sleep, he waits…oh wait, nevermind, that’s Chuck Norris. Which brings me to number four:
4. Chuck Norris is afraid of Dave.
5. His life’s passion is to one day become a bicycle cop BUT…
6. …contrary to popular belief, Dave is not the short shorts guy from Reno 911.
7. His favorite color is whatever the color is of the current book he’s reading.
8. “Ontological” is his favorite word, followed closely by “twitterpated”
9. His greatest role model is Justin Timberlake as can be noted from this file photo of Westminster’s boyband “Machen’s Warrior Children”
10. Dave’s favorite drink is: Scotch, scotch, scotch. I love scotch. Down it goes…into my belly. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

So I hope you all have a greater appreciation for our friend Dave, the intricacies of whom approach unfathomability. But still, he’s no Sam Boyd. (see http://www.samboydfans.blogspot.com/)