Snowpocalypse 2014 Was The Best Thing To Happen To Atlanta In A Long Time!
Now, before the angry mobs with torches & pitchforks come hunting me down – please take a minute & understand my reasoning for saying that. I understand completely that many people were scared, stranded, having to walk miles in the cold, seperated from their children and loved ones, kids spent the night in schools, and so many other inconveniences.
I saw it all firsthand. I and others from our church were out from 12pm on Tuesday, when it started, until 2:30AM Wednesday pulling cars out of ditches and up hills in 4-wheel-drive vehicles. We were rescuing stranded motorists and getting them to their children and then to their homes. We were getting kids who were stuck in area schools back to their homes. We opened up our church as a shelter for people to warm up, use the restrooms, and we were serving meals all night long. We delivered most of these people safely to their homes and some spent the night at our church. And we were back at it at 6:30AM on Wednesday and worked most of that day.
I only share all of that with you so you understand that I saw this whole mess firsthand, and I still believe that this ATL Snowpocalypse event was the best thing to happen to greater ATL in a very long time. Here’s why I say this…
Our communites came together helping each other like I’ve never seen before.
- Strangers spending hours in 14 deg temps manning “their hill” – pushing vehicles who couldn’t make it to the top, pushing vehicles out of the way that had spun out so traffic could keep moving, helping people walk through icy areas, and so much more.
- Residents coming out of their warm homes to bring coffee, hot chocolate, and sandwiches to complete strangers who were stuck on the road ways in front of their neighborhoods.
- People opening up their homes to complete strangers who were stranded and letting them stay the night.
- I saw groups of people huddled together praying for everyone’s safety, and praying for those stranded and seperated from their children.
- Teenagers, yes self-absorbed-the world revolves around them teenagers, taking the initiative and spending hours on ATV’s pulling cars out of ditches and up hills.
- Local businesses opening their doors and allowing people to get out of the cold and to sleep in the aisles of their stores.
- People on ATV’s running all night long and the next day helping deliver kids and teens safely home from their schools.
- People taking it upon themselves to direct traffic at intersections, bridge crossings, etc. (Again, for hours in 14 deg temps that were dropping fast)
- Neighbors taking in neighborhood kids coming off buses, many they didn’t even know, then calling parents who were stuck or stranded miles away and letting them know that their kids were safe and sound.
- I could go on and on with examples like these.
So, here’s my point — was it a big, huge inconvenience – yes. (Reality check – 80% of the world lives with MUCH bigger inconveniences 365 days a year). Was it scary for some – definitely. Was there some damage and people hurt – regrettably yes.
But dang! How much good came out of this as well???
What a great wake up call and reminder of the kinds of hearts and attitudes we should have every day of the year. Imagine what kind of place Greater Atlanta would be if we all “loved our neighbor” (I seem to remember some guy saying something about that 2000 yrs ago); if we were all kind, compassionate, and helpful every day; if we all slowed down our rat race lives long enough to notice that there are people hurting and in need all around us every day – and then we took the initiative to do something about it.
Sadly, most people will have forgotten about all of this in a few days or a week and will go right back to their spoiled, self-absorbed, narcissistic little lives. But maybe, just maybe some of us will not forget the incredible life lessons we learned or were reminded of in the ATL Snowpocalypse 2014. Maybe, just maybe, enough of us will carry these lessons/reminders with us and begin changing the whole culture of our society here. One can dream, hope, & pray it to be so.
BTW: This is what a small section of Mars Hill Road in front of our church looked like on Wednesday morning after the snow/ice event.
And this is for my Star Wars geek friends…