There I go again with my paraphrases. But that is exactly what I did this afternoon. The snow shovel became for me a spiritual tool. Due to circumstances beyond my control (probably God’s way of getting me out again) it was up to me to shovel the sidewalk in front of St. Paul’s at 28th & Wisconsin Ave. In no time flat, I knew that this work was God’s work. First of all being an urban congregation, there are lots of folks walking the sidewalk. People young and old use the sidewalks on their way to school, to the corner store, to the bus stop, to who knows where. As I shoveled through the snow and slush it didn’t take long for this to become a way to serve the neighborhood. I didn’t have to imagine how difficult it is to push a stroller with a child bundled up and loaded down with groceries through this winter snow and ice. My snow shovel allowed me to serve my neighbors.
It also became a means for me to cross all those racial, economic divisions. Just about everyone who passed thanked me for my shoveling; at least one gentlemen asked me to be careful and not to hurt my back. Another young man offered to help, but he was on his way to try to get to work. Through the power of the Spirit even simple snow shoveling becomes a blessing.