Thanks to the bi-weekly ritual of the blood draw for INR (blood clotting factor), I had a little time before leaving the house yesterday. I decided I’d scrape away that thin layer of snow covering the cement steps between the house and the garage. The job only took a few minutes but in the sub-zero wind chill my face was already stinging by the time I finished. So were my fingers, in spite of the gloves.
“This isn’t so bad,” I thought, reaching for the door handle to enter the garage. “Yeah, not so bad as long as you don’t have to be out in it all day!”
I was glad, suddenly, that I wasn’t one of those whose lot in life doesn’t provide for their day’s work to be done in the shelter of warm walls and steady heat. I don’t have to spend my day delivering mail to people too frail, too weak or too lazy to clear the snow from their steps and walks. I don’t have to earn my daily bread by crawling under houses to thaw out and fix frozen water pipes. I don’t have to climb up into frozen air to repair broken utility lines or climb down into the city’s sewers to assure the unthinking continuity of modern life. I don’t work 24-hour shifts so the streets will be more conveniently driven the day after the storm.
While I may be aggravated by the continual cold and the nuisance of blowing snow, I am still able to admire the shapes and shadows on the drifted fields as we drive to work. While enjoying the beauty of the winter, I will try to remember those whose bodies ache from the wrenching cold, whose work is often ignored, often taken for granted. And I will remember, too, the pain that paid the price of my sin and I will be grateful. His work, too, is often ignored, often taken for granted.