20 January 2011


Atlanta, the city I call home, was held in the grips of an ice storm last week. I learned a lot of lessons while stuck at home during the storm. One is, my Northern-based friends have little or no compassion when us Southerners get hit with “winter weather”. No matter how many times I tried to explain that ICE ain’t the same as SNOW, they kept telling me to “suck it up” and to “stop being a wuss”. I’ll remember to show just as much compassion to them when they get buried under 4 feet of snow AGAIN this winter. Humph. (hahaha)

Second, I learned that people react differently in times of imposed solitude. Some people relished the time off and used the time to complete projects that had been sitting on the back burners of their lives. Some used the time to watch the news reports (over and over and over again). Some people got up and out and played in the foolishness – yeah, that was NOT me. And some people kept it moving as if nothing unusual and untoward were going on.

Third, I learned that the recovery from the storm took different levels of time. If you look closely at the picture attached, this hill has ice towards the top and grass peeking through at the bottom. Both parts of the hill were covered with snow and ice at some point, but the bottom of the hill recovered more quickly. Why? Location, location, location. What am I talking about? In my neighborhood, I discovered that the houses that received direct sunlight recovered more quickly from the ice storm than those that were shadowed by trees or other things that blocked the sun. I am blessed to live on the side of the street where the sun shone brightly and directly on my house. So, snow and ice came on Sunday – on Tuesday, I was able to drive out of my driveway and around the neighborhood. [Thank God for living on the “sunny side of the street.”] Some of my neighbors were locked in their garages until Friday because of the ice encased on the roads and their driveways.

As I drove around the city in the days following, during the “meltdown” period, the effect of the sunshine was always evident. Roads that got direct sunlight were a breeze to drive on – the ice was slushy and easily scraped away by the plows (when they came through). The roads that were shaded or otherwise obstructed from the sun by buildings or bridges – let’s just say, “white knuckles” were common when driving through those areas. They were … passable … but the journey was not as smooth or comfortable.

There is a spiritual lesson here as well. When the “SON” shines on our “ICY” hearts, He can melt away a lot of things that make our lives hard, isolated, encased in solitude. The melting process doesn’t happen overnight – it is a gradual process. And this is a good thing because change is difficult. If all the ice melted in one day, where would the water go – into the streets and since the temps didn’t get above freezing for a while, it would have just frozen over again. Through the gradual melting of the ice, the ground was (our hearts are) able to absorb the moisture and the “healing” (the melting) could continue – even in the midst of the same (freezing temperature) conditions.

So, what I ultimately learned from the ice storm of January 2011 is, if I allow the Son to shine on the icy situations in my life (family, work, friendships, whatever), in HIS TIME, He will melt away the ice and bring healing. I just have to go through the process, patiently waiting on Him. He has the power to make it all right.

Be blessed.

© 2011 Kristina E. Smith
Thursday, January 20, 2011

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