When the wind chill hits a negative number, most of us retreat indoors.
When the wind chill hits a negative number, some folks go out to play.
When the wind chill hits a negative number, some people still have to go to work.
When the wind chill hits a negative number, molecular composition changes and makes ordinarily strong items become quite fragile. Dry roads become polished slippery surfaces. The severe cold creates contraction and expansion of just about everything. Something will stretch or break at the least opportune time.
Enter the men and women who work in weather not fit for man nor beast.
In the last two days we have experienced downed power lines and ruptured water mains in our area.
The severe cold numbs the face and turns warm fingers into digits barely able to bend let alone repair things. Machinery used to correct damage tends to not run properly and the task of restoring order is a challenge.
How do you respond when a water main breaks or a utility pole get severed by a car accident? Do you harp and grouse about how cold your house is and grumble about dirty water or no water coming out of your tap? Is there a murmuring toward those crews not working quickly enough?
The well known saying:
"Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins." -American Indian Proverb
could not be more relevant. When bad things happen, there is a certain breed of person who responds with action. They realize the great need and jump into the fray. Yes, I know these folks get paid to do this work. But seriously, would you or I volunteer to do these kinds of jobs? Maybe, but then again probably not. I know I would not. I have worked outside and in all kinds of weather. Mining coal in late January ain't fun! It was a job that supplied my family with all our needs. Brrr, glad that was a previous chapter of my journey.
As the lights flicker and go out and as the water ceases to run let your first response be one of gratitude that people are on the job. Be thankful you have a roof over your head, warm blankets to employ, and an emergency plan to use if necessary. Finally, be thankful that you don't have to be out standing along a road trying to get frozen fingers to bend.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is
near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all
understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true,
whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if
anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received
or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
(Philippians 4:4-9, NIV)
Do you know someone who works outside in frigid weather? Thank them for their service and dedication. Salute them and appreciate them.