When I awake in the morning, I sometimes have this feeling in my bed, “Oh, it has snowed, hasn’t it?” There’s a little bit of brightness than usual, and that feeling of quietness is only felt when there’s snow on the ground. I used to look forward to the snow when I was a child. “What should I do today?” It still remains as a pleasant memory in my mind when classes used to be suddenly switched to playing on school grounds with the snow. However, circumstances slightly differ when you become an adult. Is my commuting train running? Do I need to plow the snow? Worries come before anything. In actuality, there had been a record high snowfall in Karuizawa five or six years ago. The scenery outside became more of a concern rather than beautiful overnight. Actually, there was a stretch of trucks not being able to drive over the mountain pass and people were not even able to go outside of their houses. As soon as snow was in the state of lull, everyone started snow shoveling to let the snowplows through. This took quite a while. Children were beginning to play in the piled-up snow. Even though their hands and faces were red from the cold, children were sleigh-riding with cardboard boxes and making igloos.
As I was looking at the faces of children playing, and Just when snowplowing was about to finish, I happened to notice the fallen snow on my clothes. Usually, I would just brush off the snow without even thinking, but on this particular day, the snow had caught my eye. I was able to see the snowflakes clearly. It was my first-time with such an experience. Having seen the snowflakes, I remembered reading as a university student an essay about snow written by a physicist, Ukichiro Nakaya. In the middle of the cold weather, several kinds of snowflakes seen under the microscope were depicted and the writing said, “Snow is a letter from heaven.” I feel that a letter from heaven is also a letter from God. Sometimes there are soft words, and other times there are harsh words. It might just be the receiver’s selfish thought that one feels the words are harsh. There may be times when you feel the words are harsh due to various unwanted ties from one’s current position. In any matter, God has thrown us letters and has continued to send them to us. Have we accepted those letters? Have we just gone through the ones that are convenient for us? I need to reflect on myself.
Even though “each letter from heaven” is small, it can entirely cover the world overnight. The work of each one of us might be small, but isn’t it the continuation of our work that is important? Not just keeping the words of God in the Bible, but I want to show it in the works of everyday life.
Through the letters of God, I pray that there will come a day when this world be covered with light. And, as for it to be covered with light, I want to walk together with the church. Snow disappears with the coming of spring. Without erasing the words of God, I will continue waiting patiently.
Revd Francis Kazuaki Enatsu
Ueda St. Michael and All Angels’ Church