I’m sitting here in my studio apartment in NYC, chamomile tea in hand, candles lit, big fuzzy sweater on, and it’s been snowing HARD for the last 24 hours. It started yesterday around 4:00, and it’s been a wind-whipping, non-stop blizzard ever since!
As of publication, Central Park has had over 14 inches of snow! Fourteen inches! They’re expecting a whopping two feet by the time this is all over! Yowza! Talk about a winter wonderland! In fact, it’s NYC’s largest snow storm since 2016!
But it’s been really fascinating to watch the city outside my window become blanketed with snow. Fascinating. My apartment sits just high enough that I can still see what’s going on down below on the cute Greenwich Village streets.
I’ve seen the dog walkers…complete with dogs in parka vests and snow booties; I’ve seen the food delivery guys struggling along on their bikes; I’ve seen the bundled-up-to-their-eyeballs pedestrians, carrying bags of emergency groceries, and fighting against the wind. I’ve even seen someone go by on cross country skis!
But there was one episode that I wanted to share with you tonight…a heart warming one that was a bright spot in my day.
So, where I live, there’s a convergence of three streets, becoming one. So it’s a bit of a tricky intersection. Every way has to make a turn, some more sharply than others. And at around lunch time today, it was just impassable. Check my Instagram Stories to see what I’m talking about. (@beauty.beyond.bones) – I documented it all on there. But anyway…the plow trucks can only clear Manhattan as fast as they can, and so, this intersection was treacherous to say the least. Probably about 8-10 inches of snow at this point.
Well, you know where this is going. There’s always that one car. That oneeee carrrr…usually a little early 2000’s-model, four-door sedan…that has no business being out on the road. So this little Honda was trying to make the turn at the intersection, and got absolutely stuck in the snow bank.
I was working, and I heard the tires spinning out, for like 15 minutes. Finally I went over to the window to see what the heck that noise was, and wouldn’t you know, it was this little car trying mercilessly to get out of the snow bank.
Ugh, that poor car. That stinkssss.
I went back to work, still hearing the struggling car through the whipping wind. (It was snowing sideways at this point).
And then, about 15 minutes later, I heard voices of a couple men. I look out, and sure enough, there were three guys from the neighborhood that had wandered out of their apartments to help this struggling car.
I brought my work over to my dining table by the window so I could watch the saga unfold.
For the next 45 minutes, these good samaritans helped this stuck sedan dislodge from the snow bank. They dug it out with their bare (gloved) hands. (I mean what New Yorker owns a shovel?)
I kept watching it, thinking about what a heroic act of kindness it was for those three guys to come to the rescue of this car. They didn’t have to. It would have been much easier to be like me, and park up and have a front row seat to the “struggle-tainment.”
But no, they braved the elements, literally, and after almost an hour, the car was extricated and able to (barely) drive away.
One of the things that this Covid pandemic has done, is that is has really severed our interaction with people, and in doing so, really thwarted our opportunities for kindness. It’s hard to be kind or generous over Zoom. And let’s be honest, the Internet isn’t exactly the world’s kindest place.
And so seeing this demonstration today of the goodness of humanity, it really lifted my spirits. So much so, that it inspired me to turn to my Bible, where I stumbled upon Galatians 6:2. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Well, there it is as plain as day. Exactly what those three men did this afternoon.
But the law of Christ…what is that talking about?
Mark 12:28-31….where Jesus offers us the greatest commandment: to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
If there is one thing that is going to heal this deeply divided country, it’s going to be that. Love.
Those men didn’t care if the sedan was owned by a democrat, or a republican, liberal, or conservative. They didn’t first ask what religion they followed or where they were from. No. They just stepped in, and bore the other’s burden. They loved, through their actions.
And if that isn’t living out the life of Christ, I don’t know what is.
May we all, this week, look for opportunities to do the same. And boy, do I hope those three guys are having a steaming mug of something warm right now. Good on ‘ya!
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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