I watched the news on Monday and Tuesday as many others did anxious to know what the road conditions were. As I watched the film crews show one road after another of drivers slipping and sliding on the icy roads, I gave thanks that I was not in the computer information contract service industry any more. I was not one of those who could not go home but had to stay in some close by hotel so I would be able to get in to the office the next day. I would not have the distinguishing honor of being designated critical personnel who had to brave the slippery roads to get to work. I found the biggest danger on icy roads is the other driver who doesn’t understand the basic necessity of friction for motion. It is more the other drivers than the road that one has to be careful of. The memory is still fresh in my mind of taking time to watching the streets below as well my car and the other dozen or so cars in the parking lot become cover with ice and snow as we worked through the night again. There is some peace in knowing that barring a hospital emergency I didn’t have to be out in that driving mess.
The wonders of telecommunications allow us to be in contact with almost anyone by simply calling them up on the phone or sending a text or e-mail. It does make me wonder why all those people might be on the roads. There were not that many critical computer information people, besides I know many of them bunked in. The schools were closed. Were they medical personnel? There was a news report of people stopping for their coffee. I suspect many were simply hourly wage earners who get no pay unless they are on the job working. They are the ‘option-less’ workers. Many may have simply had to tell their children to stay inside and not open the door for anyone because they had to try to get to work.
There is something not quite right about that sort of a system. One that forces the working poor to brave the roads or sidewalks to try to get to a minimum wage paying job and leave their children at home alone. A colleague of mine reminded some of us of another fact about that system. It is that all the children out of school are not that happy about it. A good number of children get their breakfast and lunch at school. An ‘Ice Day’ that closes the school means no breakfast or lunch. We participate in a summer nutrition program because when school is out for the summer there are some children who do not get breakfast and lunch on a regular basis. For them being out of school means not eating.
I applaud the Heart and Hands workers who braved the cold and icy conditions to keep the doors open for the food pantry. They did not need anyone to tell them they were critical personnel they already knew it. For those clients that would also be braving the cold and icy conditions to get the food they needed, Hearts and Hands was there.
I wonder how many of us realize we are critical personnel in the Kingdom of God. Every one of us has been granted gifts and a witness that only we alone can share. Unless we brave the harsh conditions of a world that does not want the light of the presence of Christ then it will not be seen. The light we have will never shatter the darkness in the life of the some one who needs to hear our testimony unless we go to work. Unless we are willing to go even in the rain, the wind, the sleet and snow, the harsh words, the closed doors, the laughs and sneers then the work will not be done. We will not be there when they do come seeking the light unless we go to meet them.
May we always be ready to go into the storm for the sake of the gospel.