December 11, 2014

An unexpected snowstorm caught our country church off guard. Although the snowplow guy had arrived late on Saturday and we could get into the property, I arrived at church early in the morning to find that the walks were a sheet of ice. I went out to our shed to get the ice melt only to find the lock on shed was frozen.

Things clearly were out of control, I thought, feeling a bit sorry for myself and wondering who was going to come to the rescue so we could open on time! I had visions of people falling, children in tears with skinned knees, a lawsuit from someone breaking a hip or worse! After a panicked call to a member who lived nearby, I considered taking a church candle out to the shed and trying to heat the lock. When he arrived, I proudly showed him my idea. He said, “Have I got a candle for you!” and producing a small acetylene torch! In no time the lock was thawed and we were spreading the ice melt.

All went well the rest of the morning as I began to regret my earlier meltdown. When I shared my story with the teacher of our youth class she said, “There must be a sermon in there somewhere!” and gave me a much needed hug. She was right, as I pondered and wondered the rest of the morning.

I suppose the “churchy” angle is I learned to be a little more trusting, to have “faith” in others.  But for me, the biggest blessing was the comparison between my little candle that that most effective torch. When it came to thawing my frozen and locked attitude, God’s great torch of the loving spirit shown by others set me free, melted my self-turned sense of reality, and warmed me up. Thanks be to God!

The Rev. Anne O. Weatherholt is the rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Lappans.

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