Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Grace in the Darkness

Our area is beginning to rebound from a destructive wind-storm which plunged over 300,000 families into the dark and cold of February this past Friday. Even today, five days later, 1,400 households remain without power. It was a strange experience to drive through the towns of Saratoga and Ballston Spa over the weekend. Usually bustling stores and restaurants sat empty along the quiet streets and sidewalks as people huddled around woodstoves, fireplaces, and kerosene heaters. Many spent the weekend with nearby family and friends. Isn't it interesting how the removal of the conveniences of our age give folks the rare opportunity to be together, to share, and to converse without the distractions of our modern technology?
As I drove the streets of this alien and powerless world I was impressed by how responsible and courteous everyone was behaving. At four way intersections, the stop lights hung lifeless, lightless, and useless. Drivers, no longer able to depend on an outside authority to determine safe passage, began to acknowledge one another. As I stopped at an intersection I noticed that people made eye contact with one another, communicating with strangers through nods, waves, and smiles. There was a courtesy born of necessity that was very refreshing. People were taking responsibility for not only their own safe passage but also the safety of others. The absence of the working stop-lights did not create anarchy but something resembling grace. An acknowledgement of the rights of the other and an acceptance that we are all in this world together. As St. Paul wrote, ...we're all connected to one another after all. (Ephesians 4:25)

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