White Wonder


On the glorious splendor of your majesty,

and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.

Psalm 145:5

Last Saturday at the library, the young girl in front of me checked out Snowflake Bentley, the story of snowflake photographer Wilson Bentley. Bentley’s life-long love of snowflakes moved him to study them, to see and capture their hexagonal beauty.

It’s not easy to photograph a snowflake; they are tiny and fragile and they melt when held too long or brought inside the house. But Wilson Bentley wanted to share their beauty and structure with the world, so he developed a way to photograph them. Snowflake Bentley’s passion and effort brought snowflakes to the tropics and the deserts, giving them to people who will never see snow flying outside the window.

That young girl’s book choice couldn’t be more perfect: what better to read during a blizzard than Snowflake Bentley? The illustrations and words have come alive right outside the window – millions of unique snowflakes just waiting for someone with eyes to see and a heart to appreciate them.

I love snow, but I don’t spend a lot of time meditating on each individual snowflake. Even with so many outside my window, it takes seeing a book in the hands of a child to open my eyes to the one-of-a-kind beauty of each snowflake. A passing glance just isn’t enough to see what is right in front of me.

The same can be said of God’s wonder-filled world: sometimes it takes a psalm in my hands to give me eyes to see it and a heart to appreciate it.

Images of Wilson Bentley’s photographs are from Wikipedia, Snowflake Bentley.

(Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Snowflake Bentley, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1998, ISBN 0395861624)

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I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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