The Gifts In Winter

I am slowly learning there are gifts in winter. This has required me to live a mentored life, receiving all my mentors have to offer me as I experience what I call earlier a “figurative winter.”  This is a time when loss, sorrow or suffering is experienced in a rather intense fashion. I hate that life involves this. But it does. These figurative winters are often very harsh. Oh who I am kidding! They are not OFTEN harsh. They ARE harsh. And yet, if we have the character to get out into the winter and not avoid it, we can find a gift.

While at first we may only see the frozen layer of sorrow, something lurks there that is beautiful. The beauty may be underneath or it may be to the left or to the right. The beauty may be above, but it is there. “Open my eyes Lord, I need to see the beauty in the midst of this horrendous winter.”

I am fortunate to have key people who have helped me see beauty in my figurative winters. I wish I could talk about all of them. But here I want to highlight two in particular: Parker Palmer and Dan Steiner. While I’ve never had a chance to meet Parker Palmer, I have read every one of his books. But I have met Dan. I wish all my readers could meet this remarkable man. He is one of my colleagues at Denver Seminary. And, I suspect he will be a life-long friend.

Both Parker and Dan don’t know this, but they mentor me. Parker mentors me as I read his books and Dan mentors me as I gaze at his photography (and listen to his brilliant ideas in his office). As the mentee, I intentionally engage each of these men as a mentor.

I have received permission both from Parker Palmer and from Dan Steiner to share with you their art here on my blog, art in word and art in images. As you read here,