The snow is pretty much gone now. It doesn’t seem possible, but a couple of warm days and five and a half feet of snow is just gone. It its place is not the bright, fresh grass I remember from the fall. No, in its place is mud, dirty, sticky, slimy, gray mud. The upstaters, ever the weather optimists, are fine with this change.
“All we need now,” they tell me, “is a couple of inches of fresh snow to cover up all this mud. Make everything look clean again.”
Snow is this great disguise of the winter grays. It blankets the cold dead of winter, making everything look bright. And here in upstate New York, where an inch of new snow a day is normal, it continually refreshes itself. Snow hides the winter mud until the new growths of spring are ready to burst forth from the earth.
On internship I have adopted a policy of “fake it ‘til you make it.” On any given day, at any given task, I have no idea what I am doing. Even if I know what I’m doing, I frequently lack the confidence I need to do what is asked of me. So I fake it. I walk through the doors of the hospital like I’ve been there a million times, not like I just got lost in the parking lot. I plan worship like I wrote the ELW. I preach like I have something to say. And somehow, in the mud below all of the bravado, the Holy Spirit shows up. Shows up and grows a pastor out of this seminary intern. I hide behind a mask of self-confidence, trusting that it is not my confidence that matters, but God’s confidence. That God is doing a new thing in the winter of this strange experience. And I just need to keep showing up, and bring enough mud for something to take root.