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Over the past few days, many of us have been "snowed in"--like many things in life, both a blessing and a curse. I hope we all have been able to enjoy the beauty of snow while having warm homes, full pantries, and intact pipes.

At least for us Southerners, the (rare) sight of snow is a welcome visual. Our brand of snow, in particular, seems to be particularly powdery, which lends it a special elegance. There is something satisfying about looking at a landscape powdered with snow.

In particular, "driven" snow has captured the imagination of humanity's artists. Most recently, it has starred in Rachel Zegler's "Pure as the Driven Snow" from the recent Hunger Games movie, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. The song opens with these words:

Everyone's born as clean as a whistle
As fresh as a daisy and not a bit crazy
Stayin' that way is a hard row for hoein'
As rough as a briar, like walkin' through fire

The authentic presence of babies has long fascinated observant humans. As the song says, "Everyone's born as clean as a whistle." Every human on Earth begins with a complete lack of guile. We had no hidden agendas, white lies, or skeletons in our respective closets. To dramatically oversimplify, we wanted companionship, safety, food, and sleep--and that's about it.

Growing up, though, brings many blessings and many curses (many of which we bring upon ourselves). As the song says, "Stayin' that way [pure] is a hard row for hoein'." Life brings guilt, shame, and secrets. We find it incredibly difficult (not to mention inappropriate) to bare all of the above in the manner of a baby--indiscriminately, tactlessly, and ruthlessly.

One thing we learn from the addiction community, however, is that secrets kill. (By the way: that community is one we are all part of, whether we realize it or not.) Recovering alcoholics, for instance, teach the absolute necessity of telling the truth in even the very smallest life happenings. Neurobiologists tell us that lying about anything weakens the neural pathways in our brain that enable us to resist actions (including, of course, actions that are self-destructive--things like alcohol, drugs, pornography, etc.). In other words: who we are at our most insignificant, mundane level is who we truly are at our most visible, impactful levels. If not already, then we certainly will be over a lifetime, as who we are choosing to be determines who we become.

Purity, truth, and self-awareness go hand in hand. Purity, because without it, we can neither be truthful nor self-aware. Truth, because without it, we can neither be pure nor self-aware. And self-awareness because without it, we can neither be pure nor truthful.

A mindset that says that lying about purchasing a $1 candy bar could lead to roads of addiction that cause one to lose their family, job, and status is radical, no doubt. Perhaps, however, that radicality is exactly the mindset it takes to navigate this "hard row for hoein'."

Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." That is a reality both for the "here" and the "hereafter." Only when we are "pure as the driven snow" can we truly see God. Such a privilege should be nothing less than "a hard row for hoein'."