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Deborah Boydston Deborah Boydston
Recommendations: 45

Picture Window


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She had a friend.

It must have been the freezing cold that woke me up at two o’clock in the morning. As I sat up in bed I noticed an eerie light, streaming in between the cracks of the mini blinds. I got up, looked out the window, and could hardly believe the beauty of the unfolding scene before me. The snow was already about a foot deep and snowflakes were still falling, swirling around, furiously in the howling wind. I went to the dining room and opened the curtains. As I pulled up a chair to watch the snow I thought, how appropriate that the large window in front of me is called a picture window. Then I imagined that I was watching God paint a picture on the landscape.


For the next couple of hours I sat in the darkness of my house and watched the snow turn to sleet and then back into snow again. As it reached two feet the electricity went out all over the city. I could tell because the lights went out on the street corners. The absence of artificial light made the picture that much more fascinating.


Finally the snow reached three feet and stopped. The field across the street looked like an ice museum with the trees, rocks, fences and streams looking like ice sculptures in that museum.


As morning dawned it became very obvious that nobody was going to go anywhere. Chattanooga Tennessee wasn’t prepared for a blizzard, so it would be three days before electricity could be restored, and the phone lines back in business. I sat and watched three guys down the street dig out a four wheel drive, hoping to go for supplies. They didn’t get very far because of the thick layer of ice on the roads. Since it was dangerous to be out alone in this weather, they walked a mile together to the nearest convenience store. Of course the clerk was there because the icy roads prevented him from going home. The clerk wrote down their names and trusted them to come back later to pay when the cash register could be opened.


Neighbors were checking on each other. Younger folks were looking in on the elderly, taking them kerosene for their lamps and heaters, and people who hadn’t gotten along for some time, were now helping each other out. It seemed like everybody  was pitching in to do their part, taking each other food, shoveling snow, and sharing candles, lanterns, and extra batteries.


Evening began to fall and what few people were still about scurried for shelter. I had settled back into my easy chair facing it toward the picture window. As the sun set it began to snow lightly, covering up all the tracks that had messed up the portrait from the night before. It didn’t snow very much, just enough. With the electricity still out and the moon rising in an almost cloudless sky, that night was one of the most lovely I had ever seen. The stars seemed to sparkle more brightly than ever, and that beautiful eerie light was back. What artist is there in the entire world that can match the beauty of creation? I just love it when God paints a picture.


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Next: The Answer is Why (part 1)