Thursday, March 27, 2014

Taking Time to Notice...

Have you noticed how often God puts us in a position where we are forced to wait? I don’t like waiting. I don’t like it one bit! But sometimes…if I really pay attention, I can see that God reveals a bit of His plan and gives me/us a glimpse of the purpose of all these waiting. 

The funny thing is that at times, this sort of waiting-room revelation is deeply transforming and earth-shattering…whereas some other times, it comes softly, like a quiet whisper that puts a smile on your face because it shows you not the point of the waiting, but an intimacy between you and the Lord that is irresistibly profound. Regardless of its purpose or of how it comes…perceiving a revelation from God is always completely amazing.

Recently, while I was feeling exasperated by a long wait, I had a moment that truly touched me. On our way back home from church a few Sundays ago, in the middle of yet another snowy morning, I realized I needed to fill up. It was just my sons and I since my husband Dan was out of town for a few days. Needless to say I was anxious to get home since I do not do driving in the snow well at all! I pulled in this gas station hoping for a quick filling to continue the rest of the 45 minute commute when I got stuck in the world’s slowest gas pump EVER!

I could not believe how slow that thing was! Especially since those were brand new pumps…all digital and what not! I mean, really! It was horrible and I was freezing! My fingers were numbed under my gloves! I tried squeezing the trigger thingy harder, thinking that would make it go faster, all to no avail. In the meantime, the snow began to cover the sleeves of my black coat. Soon I realized nothing I did would matter, so I gave up trying and just let it do its thing one drop at a time. 

I don’t believe in getting back inside the car while pumping gas, neither on playing with electronics while standing near the fuming pump…so I began to look for things to entertain myself while I waited. That’s when I took another look at my arm and I saw it…resting quietly on the black background of my coat sleeve, there were dozens of the most amazing little miracles I’ve ever seen!

I could not believe that after spending about twenty winters in snow country, I had never truly, really seen snow until this moment. For the first time I focused my eyes beyond the fuzzy stuff to discern the tiniest, prettiest, most ornate piece of delicate filigree I’ve ever seen. I was in shock at its intricate beauty. I spent the rest of the endless minutes it took to fill up my gas tank admiring this piece of art work that comes to us straight from the hands of our Maker.

Finally, my car was full and I climbed back in. I complaint for a few seconds about how my fingers were numb and how this was the world’s slowest gas pump, blah, blah, blah… then I told Grant and Dylan how I had just witnessed a miracle! I went on and on about how that was the first time I truly paid attention to snow… “Do you realize that the drawings of snow and the paper cut outs that you make at Christmas are all modelled after real snow? Did you know snow was even more beautiful than the flakes in Frosty?” I said with excitement to my kids…They did not share in it, though. Grant said, “we learned that in Kindergarten.” Dylan didn’t even say a word.

Yes, but have you really, truly seen it!? “Mom, I can’t believe we are miles away from the gas station and you are still talking about this,” Grant said, annoyed. “But, don’t you get it? God didn’t have to make things beautiful! He didn’t have to make snowflakes so intricately and delicately magnificent! Most people don’t even see them! Look at me, I’ve spent half of my life in this country and I never saw it until today. He put so much effort into this tiny part of creation just for our enjoyment!” I replied filled with awe. “Well, for God, it probably wasn’t much effort at all, you know?” Grant was just bent on crushing my amazement. “I know, but still, He didn’t have to make it so beautiful. He did it just because He loves us and He wants us to enjoy His creation. He is the God of details…” At this, Grant remained silent and so did I.

I couldn’t come up with anything else to say…so I just kept on driving, my mind filled with dancing filigree. 

It might seem silly, but to a girl from Panama, discovering the beauty of an individual snowflake was a big deal. It was an intimate moment between God and I. He knew that I would get a huge kick out of it. He knew that if He’d point it out, I would appreciate it. He also knew, of course, that for me to notice Him pointing it out, I’d need “a moment.” He gave me that moment. He gave me enough time to work through my frustration so I could calm down and finally notice…

How many times I go through life trying to hurry from “task” to “task” when what I should do is take my time and notice…This Easter season, I want to take it slowly and savor it. I want to seek His face and I want to be still to hear His revelation…to experience His intimacy…to notice His presence.


  1. Hi Gisela! I need to write your last paragraph on 10 index cards and post them all over my house! I rush through life and I so want to slow down, especially during these last weeks leading to Easter. Thank you for your beautiful snowflake story. It is absolutely amazing how a change in our thought process can make an incredibly special moment out of the ordinary. I really have been trying to change those frustrating waiting moments (long lines, traffic, ...) into talks with God. It makes those times precious instead of frustrating!

    1. I'm the same way too. I always want to rush through life and I miss half of it...don't want to do that any longer! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me, Candace! Blessings!


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