Thick coat, check. Scarf, gloves and toque, check. Bundled up to brave the stinging cold, I head outside to shovel the sidewalk. Brr. We’ve just endured the coldest month on record in Southern Ontario!
It makes us thankful for the inventor of forced air furnaces and the technicians that keep them going. For hot water heaters and those who invented stoves and microwaves and toasters and coffee pots. How wonderful it is to brew a hot cup of coffee or warm up a cup of soup on a cold winter day.
Winter cold will not last. And who wants a furnace blasting hot air through the house in the middle of summer? But there is a kind of warmth we can’t do without—the warmth of love. Loving relationships make the winter much easier to bear. “These three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”(1 Cor. 13:13 ). Our world needs love so very badly.
The other day, friends suggested we go out to lunch together. During the meal we caught up on events in each other’s lives and learned even more about what makes each other tick. Then just a few days later new friends invited us to their home for dinner to help them celebrate an event in the husband’s career.
Although much younger than us, this vibrant family refreshed our hearts immensely. Loving friends ease one’s way through life. With our own snow blower broken, one of our neighbours suddenly appeared one evening during a snow storm to clear our driveway. He then left his machine with us to use while he was out of the country on business. Two weeks of unrelenting snow storms bracketed his absence. What would we have done without his thoughtfulness? Jesus said, “love your neighbour as yourself,” reminding us to look for ways to be kind to those around us.
“Love you, grandma.” “Love you, dad.” Few things are as wonderful as the love one receives from one’s children and grandchildren. How grateful we are for every call, every text, every email, from our family. How sad we feel for those estranged from family love.
Church gets a lot of flak, but we look forward to the weekly meetings, not just to hear the Word of God proclaimed, but to connect with God’s people. Here is a group with which we have eternity in common. Christian love offered and received makes the winter much easier to bear and spreads warmth throughout the community.
In the design of God, the love between a husband and wife transcends all other human loves. And when, through God’s grace, it lasts as ours has for half a century, we lift our voices together in eternal gratitude. What is winter when we can encourage each other and snuggle together through the storms?
But of all the loves that make life rich and winters short, none exceeds the love of God. As the hymn writer declares,
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.
Truly, love makes the world go round!
(For country books and others by Eric E Wright see http://www.countrywindow.ca)