January 8, 2010

Soul Cleaning

I got up this morning and went to my desk which overlooks the woods behind the back yard. It was still dark and snow was falling. The temperature was ten degrees with the wind chill eight below. I immediately thought of one of my favorite hymns, "In The Bleak Midwinter," written by Christina Rosetti in 1872 (based on Luke 2:8-14). Gustav Holst, wrote the music in 1906. The first verse captured the scene framed by the window:

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

It is indeed, the bleak midwinter, with more snow and cold temperatures predicted for Wednesday and Thursday. There is something introspective about this time of year --the perfect opportunity to travel within visiting our heart or soul or whatever name you give to the place where God resides. It's perfect for soul cleaning, and clearing , getting rid of old thoughts, old patterns of responding to life which were helpful at some time, but not now. Getting rid of that clutter opens big spaces for new thoughts, ideas, and insights to enter and illumine paths which previously were clouded. God thank you for the bleak midwinter when you show your quiet side. Guide us to find your quiet side in us as we sort out the old and make a place for new living in your light. Amen.

Jacquie Reed, spiritual director, Stephen Minister, lives in Fishers, Indiana. jreed46038@hotmail.com


  1. Dear Jacquie,
    We must all be in a similar mood this month, as cold seeps everywhere. I've written one and read two more blog posts on hibernating, pulling back, saying no, nurturing the quiet self in just one day. Keep warm.

  2. Dear Robin, I see you are associated with the Clergy Health Initiative. Any words of wisdom are welcome. With the soaring costs of health care, we all want clergy to be healthier. Thanks, Kathy