The most lovely winter snow has fallen in layers of light, wet and ice across
the state. Just when I was longing for my old New England, we received this New
Year's gift. And, suddenly, I have something more in common with my neighbors,
as we joyfully accept a free day off of work and a fleeting struggle against nature.
I've seen the unusual and the unexpected unite strangers, and it's phenomenal.
People whose eyes never meet during their day-to-day neighboring find themselves
reaching out in rare friendship to help one another. We saw this in the fall of
2001, as flags appeared in apartment windows, on tailgates and flapping proudly
in rows at every car dealership in America.
On one wet, blustery day walking
across my college campus, I peered out from under my grand, red golf umbrella
to catch the eye of passersby, gazing at me from under their own coverings as
well. Some attempted to hide from the wind and rain under textbooks, some under
wretched and mangled miniature umbrellas, but all were smiling at the insanity
of fighting against the storm as we sped to our classes or the parking lot. I
remember appreciating our human bond as ethereal - complete strangers sharing
the human condition in humorous receipt.
So it is again today with young
brothers and sisters chasing each other around the yard, flinging packed snowballs
in complete abandon. They laugh, scream, fall and express all of our feelings
about this snow, this day, this opportunity.
Journalists and newscasters
starve for images to help us etch these memories into our minds. The television
carries nothing but storm reports, interviews with men and women in line at the
airport, people scraping their ice-crusted windows, a man bent determinedly over
his full grocery cart, forcing it through a parking lot obstacle course. Flakes
of snow even remind some of the ash that fell day after day in the gaping hole
of the world's capital, New York City.
We work against these storms of
life, looking for miracles to sustain us. We need these blankets of snow and strength
to cover our yards and our national heartache. We long for this human commonness
to grow and heal us. Pray that today brings signs of newness - coming miracles
and surprises in layers of peace, joy and love.
See, the former
things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being
I announce them to you (Isaiah 42:9).
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