Monday, January 6, 2014


My Facebook newsfeed is filled with midwesterners commenting about the weather. It's cold. It's polar vortex cold. Minneapolis Public Schools are closed and many are working from home today. Local and national news can't stop talking about the deep freeze, offering common sense advice for people who drive cars and manage functional thermostats and have the luxury of either going out or staying in.

But there is little chatter and news coverage about the ones this brutal weather actually affects. Buses are still running and people are still waiting at stops. Urban shelters are overwhelmed and some are still turned away. Social services are stepping up, doing what they can. Single moms who need milk or formula today might bundle up all three kids and walk several blocks to the store to get what they need.

I am not concerned about people driving insured cars with emergency kits in the trunk or folks working from home. I have some empathy for parents scrambling to find childcare today, but they will be inconvenienced, not physically unsafe.

It is cold, but we are Minnesotans, people. Buck up. Embrace the polar vortex and turn the focus. It's a chance to shiver in awe of this wild world and all the things we cannot control. We are called to slow and hunker and care for the safety of one another.

If you live in the Twin Cities and see someone who may be homeless and struggling today, read this and call the number for help.