Like many of the rest of you, here in Indianapolis we had our biggest snowfall of the year a couple of days ago. And throughout the week of slipping and sliding on the roads and getting bootfuls of snow in the back yard with my dog, I’ve realized a few things.
For one, the postal service isn’t nearly as scrappy as their slogans make them out to be. “Through rain or snow or sleet or hail” probably applied back when they delivered mail on horses, but I haven’t received even a piece of junk mail since Tuesday.
Also, shoveling fresh snow is MUCH easier than shoveling snow that’s been plowed off the road and dumped in front of my mailbox. (I’ve shoveled out the mailbox three times, and still no mail!)
The other thing I’ve been thinking about this week is how much Jesus must like snowstorms.
Funny thing about the weather, it gave everybody something in common for a couple of days. People I barely know from work were wishing me safe travels home. The guys who delivered my new washer and dryer expressed concern that I was warm enough in my house. Everyone I know shared stories of shoveling out the sidewalk or driving in the sleet. We compared commute times and memories of previous snowstorms. I was on the phone off and on all day, checking in with friends and family.
Jesus likes it when we’re all talking and taking care of each other like that, sharing things in common. And these incarnational moments, when we experience for ourselves what others are going through, help us become more like Him, more patient, more loving, more at peace with ourselves and others.
My friend Maria is from Puerto Rico, though now she lives about five miles from me. When I saw her the evening after the big snow storm, she was laughing about the conversations she had had with her family back home. “All they can say is ‘don’t drive in the snow,'” she said, “because they don’t know what it’s like here.” We laughed, thinking of all the things about snow storms you wouldn’t know if you’d never experienced one.
And it was about that time that I started thinking of Jesus. Just like trying to tell someone what to do in a snowstorm without experiencing one for yourself, He didn’t want to tell us how to live in the flesh without experiencing it himself. So he became a man and dwelt among us. And just like I can sit with friends at dinner sharing common stories about snow covered mailboxes, now Jesus shares things in common with us in all of life.
Jesus knows laughter and celebration, weeping and mourning. He’s been disappointed and ridiculed and frustrated. Physical pain is not foreign to him. Neither is heart ache or despair. Yet he also knows the joy of a good conversation and a satisfying meal. Jesus knows.
Yeah, Jesus probably likes a good snow storm . . . about as much as he likes storms at sea! And walking on ice would be a whole lot easier than walking on water!