I love what snow does to humanity.

Granted, I am not a fan of driving in snow, but I get a strange exhilaration from the experience.  In the midst of snow or after a heavy snowfall, I find myself willing humanity to work together.  Even though difficulties can sometimes bring out the worst in us, it can also bring out the best in us.  Last night, I encountered people driving cautiously and courteously.  People were more patient as their fellow drivers struggled to stop at lights or took a couple extra seconds to gain traction.

The snow forces me to be concerned about the other, even if for nothing other than my own self-preservation.  I am particularly aware of how far their vehicle is from mine or what I can do to make their commute home a little easier.  Instead of only being concerned if I get through the light, I am instead considering what will be best for those with whom I share the road.  It is good for humanity to experience the gift of working with each other for the good of all.

On busy, icy roads, it is easy to see how the actions of others impact me.  In many other areas of my life, I can act as though spending my time in particular ways or engaging in various actions do not impact others.  As the snow falls, I am forced to see that it does matter how other people act.  It makes us acknowledge that we live in a community and are not as isolated as we sometimes feel.  This morning, when my wimpy car was stuck in a little snow, I encountered the gift of random people pausing to help me.  A man driving a truck plowed a little snow in front of my car and then was joined by a neighbor across the street to push my car forward.  In my independence, I was wishing I could both steer my car and push it forward at the same time without the aid of others.  I knew it wasn’t very stuck and I knew I was strong enough to push it.  But I needed to rely on my community to provide for me in this predicament.

Sometimes inconveniences bring out the worst in us: the impatience, the anger, the frustration.  But other times, it brings out a kindness and helpfulness that is not often given the chance to be exposed.  And it causes me to enter into a deeper gratitude for being able to receive from others, even when I think I could do it all on my own.  It causes me to be grateful for the men who paused to push my little car.  It made me grateful for the neighbor who will randomly snowblow half of our sidewalk.  It makes me thankfully consider those who work throughout the night to prepare the roads for travel the next day.

The beautiful, inconvenient snowfall helps me to encounter the humanity of the people with whom I share these streets and highways.  And I love that.

“Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord;
Praise and exalt him above all forever….
Every shower and dew, bless the Lord;
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord;
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord;
Frost and cold, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord;
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness bless the Lord;
Lightning and clouds, bless the Lord.
Let the earth bless the Lord;
Praise and exalt him above all forever.”
Daniel 3

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