Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Bitter Cold

It is -7 degrees this morning, the kind of weather where the snow crunches under your feet, sun dogs grace the blue sky, and the best place to be is standing close to your fireplace.  To keep from getting too hot, we remember to "toast" ourselves like a marshmallow....rotating from front to side..back to side.

When Joel and I were traveling in Minnesota we stopped at a McDonald's so Joel could grab some lunch.  Standing outside near the door was an older woman wearing two ankle length coats, one on top of the other.  She had on a warm hat, gloves, boots, and was carrying a large backpack.  Coffee warmed her hands.  She took up residence in my mind, and I've had trouble letting go of her image.  I expect she was homeless.....I don't know for sure, but she was definitely dressed for an extended period of time out of doors.  I have no words.......my heart hurt for her as my mind questioned what brought her to that place...that season of her life.

Yesterday on our way home we stopped by a loved one's apartment.  Joel had closed and tightened her storm door last Friday and now he put weather stripping along the patio door on either side and in-between to stop the wind from coming in. She was thrilled to be able to lay on her sofa without blankets and be warm.  No more freezing!  So little done...........so appreciated.

This morning as we woke up in our own cozy bed, kicked the heat up to warm the bathroom for a shower, traipse downstairs and pushed a button to turn on our gas fireplace, walk into the kitchen and turned on the tea kettle.....all those never-think-about conveniences...all those ways to stay warm and soothe the bones on a bitter cold morning...............for all those and more I am so, so grateful.

Do you wonder if it was cold in the manger where Jesus was born?  Do you ponder what Mary and Joseph felt as their child, created of God came into the world in such lowly surroundings?  Certainly, cold or not, these were not the best circumstances......and yet God did not choose for His Son to be born in a castle, nor even a cozy home.  But a manger...........probably in a stable~~this is where He chose for His Son to come into the world, a broken world that needed the warmth of a Savior's love.

At this time more than ever we need to remember those who are suffering from the cold.  Cold outside, and cold inside.  Those in need of their hardened hearts to be softened.  Those in need of the warmth of our Father's love coming through us.  Those is need of basic needs.  We are HIS hands and feet.  We are HIS love expressed with compassion, empathy, and love.  God is clear on that.  Helping others...........sharing the gospel..........bringing Jesus to those who need Him.  And don't we all.

Written with thoughts of our son Kevin, who died 12 years ago today at age 25.  You are now in a warm place of Jesus' eternal love, son.

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