THE SOUL is shaped by words, images, & experiences.

THIS BLOG is about those things that have left their impression on me. I'd love for you to comment on what affects you.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Whiter than Snow

Snowstorm photos by L. Trecroce

The snow began to fall yesterday evening. It continues today, laying its purifying mantle on this part of Greece. New fallen snow always reminds me of a poem I came across many years ago. The poem was written by a 20-year-old prostitute found dead in her Cincinnati apartment one winter. She died of double pneumonia; her apartment had no gas, heat, or light. Her poem, written during a snowstorm, was printed in the Cincinnati Inquirer. It follows:


Oh the snow, the beautiful snow
Filling the sky and the earth below,
Over the housetops, over the street,
Over the heads of the people you meet,
Dancing, flirting, skimming along,
Beautiful snow, it can do no wrong.
Flying to kiss a fair lady's cheek,
Clinging to lips, it frolics so free.
Beautiful snow from heaven above,
Pure as an angel, gentle as love.
Ah, the snow, the beautiful snow,
How the flakes gather and laugh as they go
Whirling about in the maddening fun
That plays at its glee with everyone.
Chasing, laughing, hurrying by,
It lights on the face, it sparkles the eye,
And playful dogs with a bark and a bound,
Snap at the crystals that eddy around.
The town is alive and its heart is a-glow
To welcome the coming of beautiful snow.
How the while a crowd goes swaying along,
Hailing each other with humor and song.
How the gay sleigh bells like meteors flash by,
Bright for a moment, then lost to the eye.
Ringing, swinging, dashing they go,
Over the crest of the beautiful snow.
Snow so pure when it falls from the sky,
As to make one regret to see it lie,
To be trampled and tracked by thousands of feet,
Till it blends with the horrible filth of the street.

Once I was pure as the snow, but I fell;
Fell like the snowflakes from heaven to hell.
Fell to be trampled as filth in the street.
Fell to be scoffed, to be spit on and beat.
Pleading, cursing, dreading to die.
Selling my soul to whoever would buy.
Dealing in shame for a morsel of bread.
Hating the living and fearing the dead.
Merciful God have I fallen so low?
And yet I was once like this beautiful snow.
Once I was fair as this beautiful snow.
With an eye like a crystal, a heart all a-glow.
Once I was loved for my innocent grace,
Flattered and sought for the charm of my face.
Father and Mother, sisters and all,
God and myself have I lost by my fall.
The poorest wreck that goes shivering by,
Will keep a wide sweep lest I wander too nigh.
For all that is on me or about me, I know,
There's nothing that's pure, but the beautiful snow.

How strange it should be that this beautiful snow,
Should fall on a sinner with no where to go.
How strange it will be when the night comes again,
When the snow and the ice strike my desperate frame.
Fainting, freezing, dying alone,
Too wicked for prayer, too weak for a moan
To be heard in the crash of the crazy town,
Gone mad in the joy of the snow coming down.
To lie and to die in my terrible woe,
With a bed and a shroud of beautiful snow.

After The Beautiful Snow was published, a Christian wrote in to the newspaper with this:

"Sinner fear not, Christ stoopeth low,
'Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.'"

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Isaiah 1:18

"Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:7


Lori said...

I'm crying, Lydia. Thanks for saving this all these years and sharing it with us.

dot said...

What a heartbreaking story and to realize there are many all around us, similarly with no hope...
This makes me want to share the gospel even more.

Back to the beauty of snow—
I'm housebound today because we are in the middle of the biggest snowstorm so far this year.
It really covers everything with an awesome purity and beauty. What a perfect illustration God created for His cleansing grace!