52 / 365 – A Beautiful Morning

JODI NILSSON

The house shook in the middle of the night — another storm blowing in. When I rose it was still dark but the night was bright with white blowing across. I don’t know that a lot of snow fell, but it’s blowing so you can’t see the ground. It’s the glory and humor of the Lord to take away the ground beneath our feet, to have the snow blow across it so you can’t see that it’s there. So you have to think about where you are, pay attention, and you have to trust.

People don’t think and they don’t trust and they get in their car like it was a sunny day in July and they can’t see the road and they go sliding off the road into the ditch. Or worse, like into the lake, like Laura’s old friend from high school, Chris Haraldsen, and the Tillary boy, Ben. One moment you’re not paying attention and it can change your life, end your life. I look at those two families and I believe they’ve been ruined by it. Of course without faith, without salvation, it can be hard to understand God’s plan. You can end up feeling like you are being battered by forces, forces you don’t understand if you don’t understand Satan. I feel for people who can’t understand this playing out, who feel like they are being battered around by “Fate,” how some of them call it, or “random events,” which is just worse. You lose a son, you have a piece of your life ripped away, and you have no way to make sense of it. I see those mothers struggling and I feel compassion for them but there we don’t talk about it.

I had to drive very slowly out to the plant, but I had to go. Tomorrow is pay day, there is payroll to do. I didn’t even bother trying to get there by the east-west highway, because even if the plows had been out the snow would have blown back over the road. I don’t think I was driving faster than fifteen miles an hour. I left early so I would have plenty of time to get there. Not too many people out yet. I beat the first shift, which meant I could park close to the building, but of course I couldn’t see any of the lines in the parking lot. The lines for the spaces run northeast-southwest. I hope I didn’t get the wrong angle, because then the whole parking lot would be off kilter.

The light was on in that trailer the union has parked out there. It looked like that agitator from the union, that Mike Kelley from out of town, might even be in there making coffee, sitting out there in the cold. Lord knows he might have people’s interests at heart, but he’s doing the devil’s work, and I mean that. Stirring up trouble, stirring up the workers, getting the company alarmed. He’s trying to protect people, but he may get everyone so wound up the company could decide it’s not worth it to have this factory way out in the middle of nowhere on the prairie, just because the cost out here is low and people work very hard. They’re good people, but they could be cutting off their toe to spite their foot, and then they won’t have a leg to stand on. It’s hard times here, always has been, but if people saw that living, living well, was not about whether you get more money on your paycheck but whether you have salvation, I think they might think differently about this union vote, this union contract. I understand where they’re coming from, but I don’t think they see what’s coming ahead.

I get worried about things like that, but just before I went in the building, I stopped and took a look around. There was some blue light breaking in low in the clouds out to the west. A beautiful morning. The wind was hard on my ears but the snow muffled the sounds of the blowers on the back of the plant, the buzzing on the lights. You could hear the snow blowing softly across the ground, just a soft rustling sound. Praise God, a beautiful morning.

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