Posted by: Steve | February 16, 2011

Praise The Lord for Snow!

Praise the Lord for snow! I’ll insert a dramatic pause here to allow for the readers’ collective “UGH!” Those of us who live in the Northeastern part of the US seem caught in a cycle of once a week snowfalls. I’ve cleverly managed to miss two of them by going to Word of Life in upstate New York to teach a course on the theology of prayer. It snowed there too, but I didn’t have to shovel it!

So why the title? As six inches of snow had settled over the Lehigh Valley last week, I dutifully donned boots, gloves, scarf, heavy coat, ear muffs, and a hat in preparation to brave the elements. A casual observer would have likened my appearance to that of children of a past era sent outside into the snow wearing snowsuits that restricted all movement but breathing. These outings were typically accompanied with the encouragement from well-meaning parents such as, “Have fun.” But I digress.

As I headed into the land of the frozen, my neighbor, knowing that my snowblower only runs when it isn’t snowing, appeared at the side of my house, blowing the powedery white from my sidewalks. I thanked him for his help and he plodded on down the street to do the same for some elderly folks in the neighborhood. I had managed to coax a few coughing minutes from my snowblower, so I finished the sidewalks and began clearing a large glob of snow in the driveway only to find two cars. My two neighbors further around the cul-de-sac were performing similar duties.

The quietness that accompanies a snowfall has always intrigued me. It seems as if the world goes into a reverent hush as it views the snow laden trees and rolling hills. The silence that followed this snowfall enabled an ongoing conversation among the three neighbors as we worked. We groaned, we laughed, we spoke of life. It was great to continue building on the neighborhood relationships that we have cultivated all the years we have lived on that circle. I did one part of the sidewalk, my nearest neighbor the other. A sense of friendship, kinship, and enjoyment filled the air.

I praise the Lord for snow because it affords opportunities for sharing, for serving others, for joining hands (or shovels in this case) toward common goals. In the season of the year when people living in the Northeast seldom see each other, the snow affords an opportunity for community to resurge.

I praise the Lord for snow because it is in the context of community that the Gospel takes root. Our message of Christ’s love expressed at the cross resonates in the environment of thriving relationships. The snowfall last week gave me a chance to add one more building block to those relatiionships that God has given us to build.

As you look out your window, you might see snow – or rain – or even palm trees waving in the warm tropical breeze. But whatever you see, I encourage you to find ways to build redemptive relationships in the midst of it. Maybe some inconvenience, some interruption in the daily routine will give you something to praise the Lord for.

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