Last night, we were blessed with a blanket of snow. What was predicted to be an inch at most came up almost to my knees when I stepped into the yard.
It’s beautiful. I love snow. I think it’s pretty to look at…from my kitchen window. I could sit here, quilting or reading, sipping hot tea, and regal the many attributes of snow all day long…from the warmth of my home.
Jim was out in the snow before breakfast this morning. By the time Craig was up and ready to leave for work at 8:30, Jim had the driveway, porch, sidewalk and a path around the car cleared off. He then came in, announced that if he had to sit in the house today, he’d go stir crazy. WHAT?? He just came in out of the snow and he was already talking about what he could do next…outside. Don’t get me wrong…I love to be outside. I love to garden and take walks and fish and all kinds of things you can do when the weather is, well, not freezing!
And it’s not as if my plans were to sit and eat bon-bons and watch the Soap Network (sorry if that stepped on any toes). I had already decided that if Jim needed to be outside, so be it…but he could leave me out of it. No, there is laundry, cooking, cleaning…the usual things that Saturday brings. But all of those will take place in the warmth of my home.
Jim said he was going to shovel the snow at Asbury Church and did I want to come with him. NO, my mind screamed as my mouth opened and said, “Okay.” As I found my boots and pulled on hat and gloves, I was thinking, why am I doing this? Yes, it’s a good thing to help others, but it’s cold and I’ve been sick this week. What if I get there and my headache gets worse. I could think of a thousand excuses, but the bottom line is, I want to be in the warmth of my home.
I didn’t say much on the drive over. I still had a battle going inside of me. I felt grumpy and didn’t want to say anything that could be held against me at a later time. (LOL) I’m not sure Jim knew my feelings, but I knew God did…and that did nothing to help my mood. Jim was being a cheerful giver…I was being a sullen child.
When we got there, Jim took from the back of the truck a snow shovel and a push broom. I looked at it and thought, you’ve got to be kidding…how am I going to accomplish anything with this??? Jim started shoveling the snow away from the door and the sidewalk and told me just to sweep away what was left and put some salt down. I did this for a few minutes but of course, I finished before he did. I stood looking around at the neighborhood we were in and I wondered how many people would get out and shovel their walks. Being a lower income neighborhood, I then wondered how many of them even had snow shovels or salt to put down. I wondered if any of them were homebound and couldn’t get out no matter what the weather was like.
I looked down at my broom and thought how glad I was that my husband was considerate enough to give me a tool he knew I wouldn’t over do it with. That, although I had been sick earlier in the week, I now felt well enough to be outside working, even the little bit I had done. That God blessed us with everything we had, including being able, when we were finished, to the warmth of our home.
We finished up at the church and headed back. By now, I was chilled and couldn’t wait to get home, change into my warm, fuzzy slippers and a thick pair of sweatpants. I had planned to make chili for lunch and the thought of it made my mouth start watering. I smiled, thinking I’ll soon be in the warmth of my home.
As we turned on our street, I saw the light above Jim’s head go off again. He suggested we go down to a neighbor’s house to make sure she could get out of her house and driveway. I had wanted to visit Collette and see her new puppy and knowing that her driveway was small, I was glad to do so. We could tell she’d been out, but we stopped anyway and grabbed our shovel and hers and started to work. She came to the door immediately, trying to get us to leave it for her to do, but finally settling on a promise that we would come in and visit when we were done.
Once inside, we quickly caught up on the past six months or so of family happenings. Her cat, Ginger, had become ill and died right after Christmas. She told us about getting the new puppy, Ollie, and how she named her in honor of her dad. We told her what our sons were up to and how I was progressing with my illness. It was a wonderful time.
As we left, I wondered to myself why I didn’t visit Collette more often. But it didn’t take long to figure it out. I had gotten so used to sitting at home when my illness disabled me to the point I couldn’t go anywhere by myself. Now that I could get out on my own again, I had to remind myself to do it. Not that I can take off and drive across the country…no, sometimes driving across town is still a challenge. But I can venture outside of my house, down the street and visit with a neighbor. I can do more than sit and wait for people to come to me.
Thank you, Lord, that I am able to care for myself and my family. Thank you for Jim and his ability to gently push me to do more than I ever would on my own. For Jim’s desire to serve others, especially when no one is looking. Thank you for opportunities to serve, no matter how small, no matter what my capabilities are. Thank you for a loving family and friends. Thank you that I am able to do more than sit in the warmth of my home.
Everybody can be great. . . because anybody can serve.
You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. . . .
You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.