Friday, January 22, 2016

Let it Snow?

The weatherperson says that the mid-Atlantic coast is getting a blizzard right now.  We lived in WV for five years (1979-1984) and then Northern Virginia for five more years (1984-1989). It was October 10, 1979 when I looked out my window at our first nor'easter winter storm.  I looked across US Highway 33 at the little building belonging to the church I had come to serve three months previously.  It was wrapped up tight in about a foot and a half of the white stuff.  Smoke from scores of wood-fired stoves rose gently into the air of Brandywine, WV.  The regular train of turkey trucks disappeared as those semis couldn't get back to the coliseum-sized barns in which their treasure gobbled.  My 1967 blue  Camaro rested under a fluffy blanket.  We were content to sit it out, even though we had only one TV channel.

Nadine and I had arrived there in July to begin our first ministry.  Those 70+ souls were getting to know us and we them.  Next summer things would start hopping with the holding of our first Vacation Bible School.  We would discover that there were lots of kids in that little town and lots of parents trying to do the right thing by them.  Our kids wouldn't begin to arrive for another two years.

That was 37 years ago.  Somewhere along the way, I discovered something called the Johari Window.  It was created by a duo of psychologists in 1955 to help us understand how we relate with ourselves and with others.  In our marriage and in our church we were working to open the windows.  We didn't know how much we didn't know, but that's where the power of extended grace comes in.  It softens hard edges so the cuts aren't so deep.  It slows the rush to judgment and allows you to focus on what is right in front of you.

May God look after the people of Washington, Baltimore, New York and other neighborhoods especially if they are "out in it" tending the various fires that make human life possible these days.  When they get home tonight (or tomorrow morning) may they be greeted by loving faces looking for them through their windows.

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