Each year, those of us who live far north of the equator face sometimes record-breaking amounts of snow. An recent article from howwegettonext.com summarizes the various methods we depose of snow. Sometimes we pile the snow up in empty lots. In areas with no room for dumping, melting trucks called “Snow Dragons” convert the snow to water that is deposited in storm drains (after filtering the snow, of course). Japan and the Nordic countries actually store some of their snow in insulated rooms and use it for air conditioning in the summer. In Kemi, Finland, snow has been used to create a giant ice castle every year since 1995. Inside the castle, tourists can find an art gallery, restaurant, hotel, and chapel.

While reading this article, I started to think about how we face the need of others living in our local community and around the world. You’ve no doubt heard or read statistics regarding the amount of poverty, sickness, and hunger experienced by a majority of the world’s population. Though easy to do, this need is nothing we should dump in an empty lot, melt in to storm drains, or convert to something less unpleasant. In Matthew 25, Jesus confronts us in stating that when we provide food, clothing, healthcare, and visitation (prison in this case) to those in need, we serve Jesus himself. As for those who neglect these needs, they are to be sent “into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons“ (v. 41, NLT). It’s a tough message to swallow, but we must learn to treat human beings better than we treat snow that’s here for a short time.

– John Wriston, youth minister, Southwinds Church of Christ