Several inches of snow already blanketed the ground and it was still falling heavily when I left – early – for the Wednesday evening fellowship. The forecast called for 8 inches by midnight, and I believed it. But this was Michigan. Flatland. Virtually bereft of hills and S-turns, but plenty of salt trucks. (Did you know that under the sprawling city of Detroit, whose suburban streets I was presently negotiating, you will find an enormous salt mine?)
No one who grew up in Detroit, as I did, fretted about driving in this weather. You drove cautiously. You paid attention. And, most likely, you would get there, and back again, on the flat terrain.
I expected the usual crowd at Jeannie’s spacious house. She lived there with her very cute, precocious 4-year old daughter, Heather. Sixty people could worship and fellowship comfortably in the large basement. I parked my rusty old Chevy 4-door at the curb and crunched through the deep snow twinkling up at me from the ground.
I don’t remember why, but sometime during the worship or preaching, I left the basement and went back upstairs. Nobody was there. But as I walked across the dimly lit living room, I saw Heather standing alone, rapt, beside the sliding glass doors that looked out into the large backyard. I quietly slid up alongside.
What a sight! Twelve hours earlier while driving to work, I had seen the world as it is.
Roads soiled by the traffic of cars that dripped oil. Fast food debris discarded along curbs. Sidewalks cracked through neglect. Lawns long yellowed in dormancy awaiting their green spring.
But, now, what a sight! A thick blanket of snow covered the ugly. All of man’s detritus – indeed, all earth itself – not a blade of dead grass could be seen – lay covered under sparkling snow.
I must have fallen rapt, too, standing alongside Heather looking in amazement. Flakes fell gently and quickly past the bright outdoor spotlights that lit up the yard, glittering and twinkling like I imagine the wings of angels sparkling with colors when I see them.
All was silent. This was another world. Adorned. Pristine. Speechless.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” I whispered.
“The snow forgives us,” she said.
©2015 by Charles Strohmer
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