Snow angels are made in several ways, and last week, after a good blizzard, we finally got to make the first ones of the season. Jack has his own angel-making method, throwing himself into the snow on his back, wriggling and squirming upsidedown. A child uses other ideas. She lies flat on her back, arcing arms and legs, then trying to stand up without making a boot-print on her angel. As for me, I like the idea of building a snowman-angel. And a true artist can carve an angel from a giant brick of snow.
The morning the blizzard came, while brushing my teeth I was wondering how much shoveling I’d have to do and how much time it would take. Then I heard the melodic sounds of a snow blower, and before I could even rinse my mouth out, I spotted my next-door-neighbor at work on my driveway.
Bob always has a positive word for everyone, and he let me know, once I got outside, that he thought the storm was beautiful. More impressive to me, though, was his unflagging determination to help the widow next door. He and his wife Linda have come to my rescue more than once, and that morning it happened again.
For the rest of that day, every time I looked outside, seeing Bob’s snow blowing lines on my driveway was a fresh blessing. Later, while thanking God for these neighbors, the Lord reminded me of the way Nate and I originally ended up next door to them.
We’d been casually looking in the area for several years, having outgrown the tiny summer cottage my sister and I shared with our spouses and 14 children. We knew we needed a second house but were frustrated with the unavailability of cottages in our price bracket. When a house came on the market at the right price, the location, size or condition wasn’t right.
Then one day, at the end of another unsuccessful hunt, the realtor said, “I heard a rumor another house was about to come on the market. Nothing’s official, and we don’t have the key yet, but let me make a call.”
That turned out to be the one. And when Nate and I bought it in 2000, we envisioned decades of family use and an eventual retirement for the two of us. Neither of us expected widowhood, but of course God knew it was coming and was preparing an optimum setting. The unlikely timing of the house “about to” come on the market with all the right features was the beginning, but most significant was his placing us next to our compassionate neighbors.
Then, when “we” turned into “just me,” those two neighbors turned into angels.
And now I know the prettiest of all angelic snow sculptures is made by the parallel lines of a snow blower.
“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched.” (Proverbs 11:25)