Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Our driveway is about 76 feet long. For where we live, that’s not very long. Its not steep compared to most of the driveways of our neighbors and it has a place for turning around so you don’t have to back out of it. One winter evening, in the middle of one of those famous Colorado mountain blizzards, my husband was late getting home. After anxiously waiting for him, I was relieved to see him finally and safely turn in the driveway. We were sitting down for a late dinner, when a good size truck – about the size of a small moving truck – pulled into our driveway. “Dino-Tec” is said on the side, with a cartoon dinosaur character. Someone was having a plumbing emergency and had had to call this poor man out in the blizzard. The driver parked and came running through the snow up to our front door to ask about our address. “No,” we said, “the house you are looking for is across the street” (that neighbor has a driveway that has three switchbacks, very long and steep!). Well, he had to back that truck up into the turn around and pull out on to the street and it took the poor guy forty five minutes! He was slipping and sliding all over the place. We watched helplessly. Had we been able to push him with our four wheel drive, we would have been glad to, but the truck was way too big. By the time he was finally out onto the road, we had a driveway covered with three inches of packed snow and slush that froze up over night and was then covered with drifts of fresh snow. Of course the plow had gone by and added insult to injury by creating a pile of packed snow and ice across the driveway entrance. Not only was it quite a chore to clear the driveway enough to get out, but it took weeks for the sun to work on the mess and melt it all away. The only thing that finally cleared our driveway was the arrival of spring.

Sometimes I find my behavior to be like that Dino-Tec truck. If I engage in closed mindedness, gossip, or aggression, I am packing down that ice into a tenacious and frozen mess - for myself and for others. My soul becomes iced over and it is impossible to get beneath the surface. Sometimes that ice can be made up of the hurts of life, or pride, or a lack of humility. If you have chronic anger or addiction in your life, you may find your soul covered with a layer of hardness that is dangerous, slippery, and cold. There are so many ways that we pack down that ice or allow others to close us up within ourselves. Sometimes it happens all at once. Sometimes it happens slowly over time. The real you is unavailable and covered over. We do it to ourselves and we do it to each other.

At times like this, our only hope is the coming of spring; the warm temperatures and lengthening days when the sun can do its work.  Here is the presence of God bringing healing and wholeness to our wounded beings. When those spring time days come into our lives, we have an opportunity to help with the melting of those things that cover us over. Perhaps we must start with the will and the desire. Then we must submit to some truthful self examination, some life changes, prayer, and right actions. It is hard work to get beneath that hardened surface and it may take a long time and many setbacks.  God never gives up!  When we can finally melt all that ice off of our souls, good maintenance sure makes life easier. For good maintenance perhaps we can invite more of that warm sun by cutting away those shrubs or trees that block out the light and warmth. Good maintenance may require lots of shoveling, perhaps a few applications of salt. I think most of us know those things in our lives that keep us inaccessible and covered in ice, and we probably know pretty well what is needed to melt it away.

Spring in our souls is a time of warmth and light. It is a lengthening of the day. We are all called to let in that warmth and light and let the ice on our souls melt away. Even as we enter into this season of long nights and winter cold, may we find plenty of warmth and light within.

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