In the past few weeks, you have given our country a lot of snow. In Maryland, we have gotten over 4 feet of snow. But even places like Dallas with it's 12.5 inches and many other places from Georgia to New York, places not used to much if any snow have gotten surprise presents of their homes, their cars, their neighborhoods wrapped with beautiful glistening snow. In some places it has even baffled meteorologists how so much snow snuck up on them.
I've seen a lot of headlines complaining about the snow, how much money it cost taxpayers, how much of a nuisance it is, etc. You remember when I went to the food store this morning and a total stranger began telling me how tired she was of the snow and that she thought even the snow-lovers have had enough of it. Since she didn't include herself in that category, I can conclude she is not a snow-lover and was, in fact, trying to speak for ... well, for me. I know a lot of people have been grumbling about snow, from north to south and east to west, from a few inches to feet of it. So, Lord, I just wanted to be one person to say, "Thank You."
Thank you for the beauty of the winter wonderland you created around me. What were gray skies over a brown earth you draped lace of fragile white flakes so fine yet so abundant that Robert Frost would have been speechless. And the snow wasn't the only beauty. As dangerous as they could be, the icicles were inspiring too. The sun coming through the ice created a shimmering spectacle we had never seen before. Trees once bare upheld your signature on their branches.
Thank you for the benefit to our plants and agriculture. The snow provides a wonderful insulator for plants from the freezing cold and repeated freezing and thawing processes. I look forward to seeing the benefit of all Your wonderful snow in all of Spring's glorious flowers and produce!
Thank you for the opportunity to slow down. Americans are some of the most stressful people on the planet. You know this too well for the lack of prayer rising from within our borders. Americans can be people who occupy themselves too much and have trouble slowing down. But when the snow came down and even when people lost power, they stopped watching TV or working and worked on needle-crafts, read books and even prayed. Since you created us and You rested on the Seventh Day, you know how important it is for us to rest and the snow helped many people do that who wouldn't otherwise have done so.
Thank you for the opportunity to chat with my neighbors. After the snow ended, all my neighbors were outside shoveling together. Some played music. When they took breaks, they walked up and down the street saying "Good Morning" to each other. Some helped others. Some neighborhood kids made a few extra dollars the old fashioned way - shoveling snow for their neighbors. Most of the people on our street work all day, most of the week and rarely talk to each other but every time we finish a snowstorm, we all chat while we shovel.
Thank you for useful exercise. I haven't gotten such a workout doing something purposeful in a while. Sure I can walk or jump or stretch, but shoveling snow? Nothing like it and you helped me lose 2 pounds just shoveling snow! It was great and I really enjoyed it. Thirsty? Grab a fist of (clean!) snow!
Thank you for the joy for our children and the young at heart. Children love snow and it was indeed a true treat for them to build snowmen and snow forts and snow slides and snow angels. A snowball fight in Dupont Circle? That was a nice touch. D.C. needs to lighten up and a snowball fight sounds like a good dose of medicine to me.
Thank you for the opportunity to remember to be considerate. Our street and the street leading to ours is only plowed for one lane. Not one lane each way. One lane. And so cars have to be considerate and let each other pass to get by. People let other people pass or back out and then people wave in thanks.
Thank you for the reminder that You are there. It is all too easy to get distracted in this busy world of ours and this week was definitely one unusual week. It made everyone stop. It made everyone pay attention. Your snow reminded me that You are there.
Now, Lord, I know anyone reading this but not sharing it's sentiments, will be quick to point out the homeless, those who's roofs collapsed and others who truly did suffer from your snow. But I want to say thank you for the motivation of the snow to shelter the homeless when people otherwise might not have bothered and the opportunity suffering gives us to draw closer to you and share in your suffering and the encouragement you give us to always trust and rely on You. I know those who suffered from these storms are particularly close to you now.
So, Lord, though you may have gotten a lot of complaints about the snow, I just wanted to be one person who said, "Thank You!"