Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is …
Greetings, Dear brothers and sisters. May The Lord be blessed and glorified and may you be blessed.
A big joint gasp went up from the people on the bus this morning as the driving winter rain SUDDENLY turned to big white flakes while I was on the way to work. Three of the mentally challenged regulars began to giggle with joy and their faces filled with real wonder and delight at the beauty. They expressed it with their mouths as well: “SHELEG! NIRAY! SHELEG! EZEY YAFFAY!” (Snow! See! Snow! How BEAUTIFUL!)
They ran to the front of the bus and then the back looking out of the windows. I sent my boss a text message: “Should I go home?”
Jerusalem is very excited when we get snow and also very unprepared, although the city always boasts our readiness and displays our snow plows the night before. It is not a frequent occurrence and we often go for years without seeing any although we all prepare for a “once a year” occurrences. To see it once is great joy and twice becomes a double joy, but this early is a rare event.
Usually if it comes, it is in January or February. As a matter of fact, just several days ago we had all been commenting about the unusual dry heat that we have been having so late. We had gotten up in the night to look out of the window, but there was still driving rain, as it was in the morning when I left the house and the radio had already said that schools would be open. That eventually changed.
Like the rest of the world, we have been experiencing the changes and shifts in weather patterns and intensity, but we have so far, mercifully been spared the disasters that others have experienced.
When snow is predicted for Jerusalem, it is announced on the national news. The mayor is shown smiling beside the snow plows and inspecting the salt, tenderly petting each vehicle with pride and assurance. “Sheleg!” is the focus of every conversation the day before. “It will SNOW tomorrow,” one says. The other replies, “Nah! It won’t snow!”
But everyone is on tip toe. We were told of this strong and large weather system entering the region on Tuesday. I had stopped at the market to pick up some groceries and it was FULL! That is, full of PEOPLE. The shelves were already pretty empty. People were buying EVERYTHING. The check out lady asked the manager. “What is happening today? It’s TUESDAY not THURSDAY (the day when people shop to prepare for shabat). What is happening?” His answer, “Sheleg!” “Ahhhh,” she answered, “I’d better get some food too.”
Usually our snow falls at night when it is coldest. It was an ominous sign to me when it BEGAN at sunrise and it was coming down heavily. Surely it won’t stick, I thought. This was the second day of the predicted country wide (from the Golan to Eilat) 4-day storm and the streets were rivers of water, everything saturated. Trees were down, electricity out much of the night, but before I got to work it was not only sticking but was already several inches thick. I sent another message to my boss. No answer.
Two hours later he called. It would just be he and I today. No one else could make it in.
I told him that there had been no calls, no messages, lots of snow. “Can I just go home?” (I live across town)
“No…wait for me…I’ll be in. It will be fine. If the buses stop I’ll get you a taxi.”
I asked, “And if the taxi’s stop?”
Silence. “Then I’LL drive you home.”
That was NOT very comforting because if the buses and taxis can’t get through, can he?
At 10:30 he arrived and said, “Well…go ahead and leave. It is pretty thick.”
As I approached the bus stop a bus went past, and a snow plow. That was a good sign that things were running. I huddled with an ever growing crowd of people at the bus stop for 40 minutes. No more buses. Someone tried to call the bus company. No answer. I called my boss. “Come on back. I’ll call a taxi,” he instructed.
I trekked back. No taxi places were answering. As we began to drive across town we found out why, seeing taxis strewn across road after road. We skidded, slipped and jockeyed as I gained new respect for my boss who drove like a true Alaskan, avoiding stalled cars, going the wrong way on one way streets, picking up stranded people. It took almost 2 hours to get home, (normally 10 minutes by car) but I was thankful to watch people helping one another and the joy of children throwing snow balls in the streets. A car crowned with 2 snow men holding palm branches slowly made it’s way along the road. Most roads were completely plugged with stalled cars. The train stopped. The buses stopped. The central bus station stopped. The post office didn’t bother opening. The bus company closed.
It’s a “PLAY day” for Jerusalem and so very beautiful, but a cold one. My heart goes out to those who can’t keep warm. It is below freezing and supposed to be for several more days. We are blessed with food, a heater, one another, but what of those without? We have a caring country. People WILL go door to door checking on one another. What of the African migrants? What of all of the Syrian displaced people in camps? And the old lonely ones.
I lift up a prayer, a weak one in the face of the immense problem, but when looking at our Immense Immense and Able God, I ask for direction how to pray. I do what I can and check on friends, beginning with the weaker ones. And for some reason that I have not been able to understand, this deep sadness continues in my heart.
Wishing that you could all see Jerusalem in the snow and rejoice in this part of the beauty of God’s creation, I need to go and make a WARM dinner for my husband. May our hearts be warmed to Him and turned to Him and may we glorify Him alone. I send much love!
Your sis here