Over the last week or so we have seen more snow than we have experienced for a long time. The first major fall led to schools being closed early and commuters being stuck in heavy traffic. I’ve heard stories of usually short journeys home taking almost 5 hours. People were queuing in supermarkets to ensure they had enough food and families were phoning each other to check they were safe and warm.
So, what happened after the chaos of that Friday afternoon…?
Well, in the first instance everything stopped. Weekend clubs, parties, meetings and events were postponed (we even had to cancel the evening service at Holy Trinity). People were gathering in open spaces to go sledging and to build snow sculptures. There were community web pages updating followers of weather and traffic reports, whilst at the same time offering people a forum to offer one another help and to thank the gritters and emergency services for keeping us safe. People took the time to knock on the doors of their elderly neighbours to check they were ok and strangers offered help to people who fell or had accidents in the snow.
For a moment we became a community of yesteryear; one where we all watched out for one another and took time to be together as a community.
God works in mysterious ways and here I believe we were reminded of the important things in life - to stop, if only for a moment, and notice what is around us. Now that the snow has been washed away maybe we will remember the last few days as a time when we noticed one another and understood what it is to be a neighbour.