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Journey with John

During the winter months, Saturday night’s sleep comes with difficulty as I think about what the weather might bring to our Sunday morning.  Will the streets be clear or covered with snow or treacherous black ice, unseen but quickly felt?  I worry as I climb into my car and venture out into the unknown.  I’m frequently relieved by the remarkable efforts of those who work tirelessly to make a safe path for us all.  Many thanks to those unsung heroes who clear our roads and de-ice our sidewalks.  What a joy it’s been to greet you for worship when our surroundings were less than welcoming.  My first desire is that everyone be SAFE, so, I encourage you to remain safely at home if you have any doubts.

I’m grateful for the precautions given this week.  I pray all are warm and secure.  I empathize with our public school leaders who wrestle with calling delays or snow days.  Not only must they weight the dangers of the roads, they must constantly keep in mind students who are better off at school where it is warm and food is available, luxuries some don’t enjoy at home.  And how I admire our medical personnel and so many other servants that really have no choice but to come and be present for those in need.  There really is no one answer to harsh weather that keeps all people secured.  My heart aches for those who too often sleep on the streets.  Oh what do they do when the winds blow in temperatures of -15 degrees?  Shelters and churches open their doors but is it enough?  The winter days can be cruel and the nights even more so.

I worry about the winter storms of the spirit that shut down the human heart.  Do people have the tools they need to survive?  When life is threatened by paralyzing storms of grief or anger or fear, who can clear the path to warmth and safety?  Even in the wintry bouts of doubt, our Savior comes with gifts to warm the heart and revive the spirit.  Christ holds out a word of hope, a touch of compassion, a gesture of care and we are strangely warmed….  I’ve done my share of whining about the weather the last few weeks.  I had a beautiful conversation with one of our members who instead of whining about the restrictions of winter was telling me of her choices of spring flowers to grace her yard.  What a beautiful soul – struggles with the current cold, but still plans her flower garden for the spring that will come.  We are resurrection people and we are not stopped by the winter winds of the soul.  We have the hope of spring ever before us!  Thanks be to God!

Love,

Pastor John