Adam Ericksen 01-07-2014

Snow provides a common enemy Littleny/Shutterstock

Last Thursday, as I carefully navigated my way home from work on the slippery streets of a few Chicago suburbs, I was listening to a talk radio program. The host reminded his listeners that he broadcasts from sunny Arizona, and then he said, “I know that many of you have had large amounts of snowfall. I recommend that you sit back and enjoy the beauty of the snow.”

At which point I yelled some expletives about what he could do with his recommendation and promptly changed the station.

It’s been a brutal winter. Indeed, we’ve already had “large amounts of snowfall.” Yesterday in Chiberea (that’s an amalgamation of Chicago and Siberia, for those keeping score), the high was negative 13 and today the high will be positive 3. Yay for staying positive, Chicago.

Staying positive about the weather is becoming more difficult. The snow, while pretty, will be here from late November to early March. It. Gets. OId. And schools have been canceled for two days in a row. Listen, I love my kids, but they’ve been stuck inside for the past five days. We are all experiencing cabin fever.

But there’s one thing about Chicago winters that I can appreciate. The relentless snow and the extreme cold provide an opportunity to build a sense of community. Neighbors suffer through this weather together. We check in on one another to make sure people are surviving and staying warm. And, of course, we create a sense of community by uniting against the weather. The snow and the cold become our common enemy. Or, as René Girard’s mimetic theory puts it, the weather has become our scapegoat.

This hymn was originally used for the dedication of the 180 solar panels on the sanctuary of Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware where I am the co-pastor.
Tracey Bianchi 04-14-2011
I'm a Midwestern girl coming out of her winter shell this month. Flip flops are lost companions just now crawling out from under beds and hidden closet shelves.
Debra Dean Murphy 03-16-2011
As Americans were complaining about all the snow this winter, arguing about the" ta
Tracey Bianchi 12-14-2010
Well, here we go. Like it or not, tis the season. For me the holidays are a mixed blur of emotions, hopes, and unfulfilled, unrealistic dreams and desires.
Tracey Bianchi 03-04-2010
It is still very much winter in Chicago. Sure, the calendar says March, but the piles of snow on the ground look more like mid-January. Everything is brown and crusty.
Christine Sine 03-02-2010

This morning as I was sitting reading my Bible, I caught a glimpse of the Olympic mountains out my window. They were covered in the early morning light which reflected off their snow-covered peaks. It only lasted for a few minutes, but I drank in the breathtaking beauty of those minutes in silent prayer to God.

Lynne Hybels 12-08-2009
I refuse to write a blog about how overwhelmed I am by the holiday season. I'm not going to wax eloquent about how the season I loved most as a child has become the source of excruciating stress.