You might have heard about it on the news. Or maybe if you’re a local, you experienced it. We had this whole blizzard-thing happen last week end. We had two feet of snow. Hurricane-force winds. Cold, cold, and cold. In the middle of the night the lower half of a window was literally blown out of a pane. For a couple hours, it got so frigid until I figured out what was going on. By the time I made it into the laundy room, the clean clothes hanging up, and the dirty ones on the floor, they were all flocked so beautifully…
This came right before what was maybe the hardest day of my life. I knew that hard day was coming. And I dreaded it. I was beginning to feel like I was going to crawl out of my skin with the anticipation of it all.
When they declared a driving ban– punishable with jail time and a tremendous fine– I got so claustrophobic. I had to just get out.
I am so blessed that there are people who live nearby who love me. It wasn’t snowing much, by this time. But there was still the roads, knee deep with snow. And the driving ban.
Because it felt like my only alternative was to engage in self-destruction, I walked to my friends’ house.
It was wierd, out in the snow.
It was like a zombie apocolypse. With out the zombies.
A few plows. And me. And a few other crazies braving the weather.
In order to make the point I want to make, you have to understand something.
I make this show of being left wing and provacotive and hip and modern. But inside, I’m kind of annoyingly milque toast. I have this thing about rooting for the good guys. And respecting authority figures. If you want to know the truth, I kind of hate it when people call them “cops” because I think that’s not respectful enough.
Ordinarily, I get a little cheered by the appearance of police cars. It reminds me that I live in a world of order.
I know that there are bad police officers out there. I don’t judge others for basing their reactions to the police on bad experiences. But those aren’t my experiences.
I lived close to Los Angeles during the Watts riots that came after the verdict in the Rodney King Trial. I remember just getting this sick knot in my stomach, this child-like failure to understand, when the rioters started going after fire engines that entered the neighborhoods to put out the fires that the rioters had started.
But as I walked to my friends, I realized that I didn’t really long to see police cars, on that day. The vehicles that brought this embarassing sort-of cheer that I usually reserved for first responders were the plows. Two feet of snow and twelve hours had reversed everything for me.
I didn’t mind police officers. But I almost longed for the plows. They were the liberators.
I guess that’s the thing I’m thinking about, the point I want to make.
It doesn’t matter who people tell you your supposed to greet as your liberators. It matters who is working, right now, to set you free. It matters who can stand up to whatever dangers you are facing.
During that blizzard, it was the snow that stood against me. And those who would save me from it, my fickle heart elevated them with out thinking twice about it.
I think there is a message in all this for we Christians.
We can tell the people in the world that we are here to save them. But if they are living in fear of some other danger, if they don’t see what we are liberating them from… How can they see as anything but an annoyance?