It’s February, knee-deep in the bone chill of winter here in Wisconsin. And I have been thinking about other winters. Other bone chill days.
One year ago our little Blizzard-Boy of a grandson was born in the middle of a Chicago Snowstorm. This Grandma was amazed once again at the beauty of life: suddenly, God-Breath wakes this little boy to join our world! But also, this Grandma was embarrassed to be newly diagnosed and bearing the pain of a disease I knew all too little about. Snowed in at the hospital, I was humiliated to ask the nurses for a more comfortable place to sleep because these swollen joints couldn’t handle those hard waiting room chairs. But oh, what bliss! They offered me an extra bed, made available to snow-weary visitors, and their kindness overwhelmed me.
On another bone chill day a few years ago, I rode the train into downtown Chicago. My friends and I stepped out of our comfort zones bearing gifts to pass out to the homeless. We wrapped our arms around shivering ones and blessed them with our scarves and gloves and bottles of water. But none of us expected to find the kindness of God looking at us through eyes hidden behind a ski mask. “Robert” was embarrassed to be newly begging and bearing the pain of joblessness. It was his first day out on the streets, but we didn’t know that when we invited him to lunch. We found it all out over the course of several weeks, as he emailed us the details. A Jesus-follower himself, “Robert” was ready to give up on God when we gave him a simple meal, and prayed over him. Because of our kindness, the kindness of God restored him to hope. He was later reunited with his family and found a job. We who had witnessed his story were touched by the kindness of God more deeply than we ever expected.
Here, in these long days, I want to have eyes that are opened to see the God-Breath moments, chasing away the bone chill winter cold.
“God’s kindness leads you to repentance [that is, to change your inner self, your old way of thinking—seek His purpose for your life]” –Romans 2:4 (Amplified Version)