There is an unspoken rule among Cincinnatians; when snow is on the ground, you must lose every levelheaded driving capacity! Combine that with hills and you have a scene of biblical proportions. For a proud Clevelander it’s pretty comic.
Thursday night was a prefect chance to relive the glory days of my childhood when my dad would rally my brothers and I to push neighbors’ cars out of the snow. There was no shortage of bad drivers who got stuck on the icy hills of MLK Dr, so I rallied Brian and Andrew to come out and help push cars.
We started with about 10 pushers, but pretty quickly it was just Brian, Andrew, and I. A new strategy was needed, so Andrew and Brian went to the intersection at the bottom of the hill to direct traffic away from going up the hill, while I helped cars turn back around to drive down and take another route. Since they couldn’t stand in front of cars barreling in at 30mph, Brian and Andrew did the best they could dancing frantically on the corner signaling cars to turn away from the hill.
Notice a pattern yet? No? Read the first paragraph again then move on.
It was getting very very frustrating to be one or two cars away from having the hill clear, only to turn and see 10 more making their way up and getting stuck where every single other car got stuck. After I told one guy to turn around he proceeded to burn his tires for 15 minutes making about an inch per minute until finally he gave up and turned around like I told him to. Admittedly I uttered a few groans, growls, and grumbles. (combined with several choice words)
I got good at giving instructions on how to turn around and exerted a lot of force to try to guide the cars, then stayed with them as they made their way against the next wave of oncoming traffic that disobeyed our advice. I had to work with them one at a time, and often got set back further when any progress was made. I stayed and stayed until finally the salt truck came.
It is the same way with God’s love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness and grace. We are all like those idiot cars (and I say that endearingly of course) who ignore the warning against driving up the icy hill because we think we’re able to make it over the top, and of course we get stuck exactly where everyone else does. God does not condone or accept the stupid decision we made, that’s not what forgiveness is. We feel guilt for a good reason, it is a real indicator for us to know we’ve messed up, it’s necessary for a conversion of heart.
I don’t write any of this to my own credit, it is just something that came to mind and wouldn’t have thought of if we didn’t have this experience. I think this picture shows the effect that God’s love and grace has on those who it has worked through; in the face of cold wind and snow, constant slipping, thickheaded drivers, and even broken legs. It is Christian joy.