Tuesday was most likely viewed as highly inconvenient for a lot of people. We had over 18 inches of snow dumped on us within 13-hours. It was heavy snow too. And it came down fast and furious.
Before I could take off for the gym at 5:30am, I probably wiped about 4-5 inches off my truck. Roads weren’t great, but they were drivable. By the time I left the gym 2 hours later, my truck had another 5-6 inches on it. By now the roads were TERRIBLE. Traffic inched along at a snail’s pace. A 3-lane expressway was narrowed down to one lane. Visibility was poor. I knew then and there that my plans for the day were not happening. My in-the-middle-of-the-week vacation day that I planned weeks in advance with 2 close friends and my sister was certainly not happening as it involved an hour of driving. The snow and driving conditions would never allow for that. My fun, in-the-middle-of-the-week vacation day plans were disrupted. That my friend is inconvenient and not cool!
Most of Rochester was disrupted on Tuesday. It took my brother in-law 5 hours to get to work. Five hours! It normally takes him 30 minutes. Hundreds of people got stuck. Hundreds were at a stand still in traffic for hours. It was crazy. The snow came down so fast and so heavy that it was simply impossible to keep up with. Roads and driving were a hot mess. The snowfall was quite beautiful to behold but it was also quite inconvenient to say the least. Businesses closed for the day; people were instructed to stay off the roads; many got stuck or plowed in; delays, disruptions and inconvenience were every where.
As I got ready for my re-vamped in-the-middle-of-the-week vacation day plans, a car got stuck in our unplowed road, right in front of my driveway. Thankfully Jimmy opted to work from home and not brave the traffic, so he went outside to help, along with 5 or so other neighbors. They worked together to get this car unstuck. Then 3 neighbors stayed to help Jimmy shovel our driveway so I could get out. Rick, Karen and Cheryl were their names. I’ve been living on my street for over 3 years now and have never met these kind people. How awesome of them to help us out! I was touched and amazed to see them furiously shoveling and shooting the breeze. They even invited us over to enjoy the snow day with them, and better yet, gave us an open invite to their summer gatherings. My heart was warmed by the new friends I made during this inconvenient, fast and furious snow fall of a day.
In order to make the re-vamped in-the-middle-of-the-week vacation day turned snow day festivities a reality, I ventured out to pick up my sister’s babysitter. I was super careful, went cautiously slow, refused to pull in the sitter’s driveway to avoid getting stuck and even took the long way back to the main road since there was no where to turn around safely. By now I was feeling confidant. We were on our way! I had the babysitter, my sister’s house was not too far away, and from there, we were heading to a friend’s hot tub!
As I took my detoured way back to the main road, we turned a corner and encountered another car stuck in the middle of the road, with no room for us to pass. Brilliant me thought backing up would get us in the clear, but all it did was stick my back end and rear tires in a snow bank! Now I was stuck! Another inconvenience. I hit minor panic mode as I saw how entrenched we were in this heavy snow. Yet in the midst of the inconvenience, I saw the beauty and generosity of people yet again. One stranger let me borrow his extra shovel, as he was digging his own car out and didn’t say a peep as I went running down the road and practically out of sight with it. Another stranger appeared out of nowhere to help push me out. All of this by 10:30am!
If you’ve never enjoyed a hot tub during a snow fall, I highly recommend it. I also highly recommend seeing the beauty that can come even from inconveniences. I think God likes to show up during our inconvenient moments. The question is, will we notice? Will we acknowledge Him? Will we let Him show His purpose in the midst of the inconvenience?
By the time I got home from my snow day festivities, more neighbors were out shoveling yet again. We had great conversations and connecting all because of a fast and furious snow fall day. I know lots of people were stuck on excruciatingly long commutes that day; some were at a stand still for hours. That is completely inconvenient and totally not cool. Yet the news showed strangers helping strangers; reaching out to each other, keeping company, sharing and caring. What a lovely thing to behold on such an inconvenient day.
I was warmed by the countless stories showing the good Samaritans of Rochester. Yes, there are plenty of good people still in our world today! I’m thankful for that sight and that reminder. I’m thankful to see the generosity of strangers in so many ways, shapes and forms. I’m thankful for meeting new neighbors and future opportunities to get to know them and show them the love of Jesus. The actions of so many during that fast and furious snow fall day challenged and inspired me. It caused me to look at my own heart and willingness to take action when I see a need. Yes, God shows up during our inconvenient moments and even has a purpose for them. What a beautifully, inconvenient day.