We were blessed with 17 inches of snow on Friday and Saturday. A truly wonderful, remarkable event. And while the snow covered up a great deal of our neighborhood, it also revealed quite a bit as well.
On Saturday morning, I went out to shovel the sidewalk. Slowly, the other men in the neighborhood emerged. But instead of each shoveling our own sidewalk, one started shoveling the driveway of a neighbor who cannot do it herself. It wasn't long before four of us were shoveling her driveway...then the neighbor next to her...then the one across the street...and finally, we worked together to shovel one another out. It was a great time to be together and help one another out. Three neighbors were blessed with clean driveways. Four neighbors were blessed with sore backs, which serve as a good reminder of the blessings of friends.
But that wasn't all. On Sunday, we invited our neighbors to our home to eat food originally prepared for our congregational open house. So these same neighbors got to sit in our living room and dining room and chat about snow, sore backs, and lots of other things as well. While there, our neighbors---who have all seen our advent log from the outside---got to experience it from the inside. 21 candles lighted in celebration of Jesus' birth, a devotional reading, and a prayer.
You know, when appraisal companies come by to appraise the value of a home, they leave off the really important things, like neighbors who will shovel your driveway, watch your kids, and drink cranberry punch around an advent log 5 days before Christmas.
In our case, maybe it's best that the appraisers didn't add in the value of the neighbors. If they had, I doubt we could have afforded it.