January 29, 2019

Maybe you aren’t aware of this, but here in the northern half of the United States, it is cold. Record-breaking, dangerous-to-be-outside cold because windchills are in the -30s, -40s, and -50s (Fahrenheit). Which brings me to the blessing I am thankful for today—a house with insulation, with heat, and the ability to pay our heating bills.

I am thankful for a workplace that wisely decided to cancel classes for the next two days—only the fourth time in as many decades that it has done so.

I am thankful for a my kids’ school, which has done the same, and for the school superintendent who did one of those super-fun singing snow-day announcements to let everybody know about it. (She is a musical person so it’s completely within character for her to do so—and she is a wonderful superintendent in all aspects!).

I am thankful that the city I live in has recognized that people may need shelter, and has opened the doors of its Civic Center for people to stay and sleep for the next few days if they need to.

I’m also praying for the homeless—even in my area of suburbia, with middle- and upper-middle-class families, it’s not unusual to see a few individuals who, like our Lord, don’t have a place to lay their heads (Luke 9:58).

There is one man in particular that I keep picturing, a man that I’ve seen sitting outside a grocery store not a mile from my house—not begging, but just resting on a bench. While he was there and I was waiting for my husband, who had run inside to pick something up, an employee came out and began talking to him. Before I knew it, the man got up and began gathering his belongings. Oh no, I thought. He just needed a place to sit and they are going to make him leave. But I was wrong. The employee walked with the man over to a picnic table at the side of the store, farther from the entrance, and gave him a cigarette and sat and talked with him while they smoked.

I’m praying for that man, in particular, and others like him. I’m praying that he has found shelter and another friendly soul to drive him somewhere warm and help him through this winter. I am praying for his safety and for him to experience God’s love through the generosity and kindness of others. And I’m thanking God that he has his eye on me, on you, on that man and that we are precious in his sight.