“The Snow Forgives Us”

snow in backyardSeveral inches of snow blanketed the ground and it was still falling as I drove to the Wednesday evening fellowship. The forecast called for 8-10 inches by midnight, and I believed it. But suburban Detroit is virtually bereft of hills and S-turns, and the large fleet of salt trucks with their huge plows had cleared the main roads. So no one who grew up in Detroit, as I had, fretted about driving here in this weather. You learned to drive cautiously and pay attention. If you did, most likely you would get there, and back again, on the flat terrain. And you remembered the enormous salt mine under the sprawling city.

I expected the usual crowd at Jeannie’s spacious house, and wasn’t disappointed. She lived there with her very cute, precocious 4-year old daughter, Heather. Fifty to sixty people could worship and fellowship comfortably in the large basement. I parked my rusty old Chevy 4-door a block away and crunched along through deep snow that was everywhere sparkling at me from the ground.

Sometime during the worship or preaching – I don’t remember why – I left the basement and went back upstairs. Nobody was there. But as I crossed the dimly lit living room, I saw Heather standing in rapt silence by the large sliding glass doors that looked out into the backyard. I slid quietly alongside to have a look.

What a sight met my eyes! Twelve hours earlier while driving downtown to work, I had seen the world differently. Roads soiled by the traffic of cars that dripped oil. Fast food debris discarded along curbs. Lawns yellowed in dormancy awaiting their green spring. Sidewalks cracked through neglect. Cigarette buts stubbed out and flicked aside. But, now! Snow covered all the ugly. Man’s detritus – indeed, all earth itself – lay covered. And it was still being covered.

Millions of snow flakes were falling gently and quickly past the bright outdoor lights that lit up the yard. They glittered and twinkled like I imagine the wings of angels will sparkle with colors when I see them.

I too now gazed in rapture. This was another world. Not just covered but adorned.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” I whispered.

“The snow forgives us,” she said.

©2017 by Charles Strohmer

Image by David Pinkney via Creative Commons.

The Snow Forgives Us: A True Story

snow cover over landSeveral 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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