Picture Me This

After soaking in Mitch Teemley’s “The Unbending Beauty Of Winter” (very much worth the read as well as the great pictures), I was inspired to run outside and take a picture that might not only describe but made one feel an aspect of winter; Cold. Never mind that it was 52 degrees below the freezing mark (-20 f), and, the wind chill doubled that number. Then it got colder.

I took some pictures while it was really cold. I even have a slide show of old and new pictures taken in the cold….see! (Click on any picture to enlarge for slideshow)

I found something odd. I could take a picture of winter but it didn’t look cold. Every object was still the same, only with snow on it. I could not take a picture of a bird or a deer because they are handling the cold and actually built for it. If I took a picture of my bare feet on the deck in the snow it didn’t look cold. It looked 100 degrees warmer that it actually was. Then after melting snow a little bit my feet froze. Then I stepped on the frozen metal threshold. Yes, it’s as bad as sticking one’s tongue on the flagpole (car door handle in my case) in below zero weather.

If you see me walking around on my knees instead of my feet, it’s not an indication that I am a Holy Man always praying.

All the bad storms, tornados and cold weather seem to be a visual illustration of the heart of our nation, as well as the rest of the world. It’s growing much colder out there. Sadly we see pictures of it every day. I would take a snowstorm any day compared to the twitter storms, the hatred of political leaders and media people.

When we see these things, hit the off button. There’s a better way!

Look for pictures of one person helping another. It happens all the time. Last week when it was really cold (-60 wind chill) a lady I know invited a stranger to sleep on her couch. A truck driver was going to curl up in his idling truck in the gas station parking lot. Different skin color, 600 miles from home, first job out of prison, not used to the cold weather but very used to the coldness of racial tension. By the time he left, the whole family (even her husband) had adopted him and he them.

I love her explanation. “I would never do a thing like that on my own but I just felt moved to tap this guy in front of me in the convenience store line and ask him if he had a place to stay tonight. Then I called my husband and told him we had company for supper and overnight. I knew it was Jesus moving me, I just knew I was safe, so I would not take no for an answer from the trucker or my husband.” A funny-moving story in real life not many will hear, but is somewhat common in some circles.

So, picture me this America. Land of spacious skies, freedom and home of the brave. At least you Jesus followers…how about “Love one another as I have loved you” John 13:34

Turns out our truck driver had found and followed Jesus in prison, but was adrift in the big cold world not having found any support. He found God’s warming love from an unlikely stranger on one of the coldest nights winter could bring. That saga will continue…

 “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we  see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them,  Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:37-40

Gary

Note: All pictures taken in our front or back yard or on the lake nearby. Feel free to check out my Gods Way are Different blog. I also have pictures for free download here on Unsplash. Right now as I type this, a yearling doe has bedded for the night beside the garden shed and almost under the charcoal grill out of the brutal -50 wind chills (picture taken out the window as not to disturb).

Published by Gary Fultz

Outdoors Man, Hunter, Fisherman, Guide, Writer / Author, Photographer, Public Speaker, Musician, Song Writer, Story Teller, Follower Of Jesus. Love God and family and total strangers

82 thoughts on “Picture Me This

  1. Gary, this story warms my heart. The pictures are stunning! Being the hands and feet of Jesus is a wonderful way to live and melt the cold around us! What a blessing she was to the truck driver. Thank you for inspiring us! God bless you!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh man, Gary. That hurts thinking about it. Good thing your feet are shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. Next time obey Mark 6:9. Still hard to understand how the little critters and birds can put up with such unforgiving weather. The blood must move fast and be perfectly balanced and somehow or another their feet don’t freeze. Evolution is quite amazing… What a blessing to hear of such warm hearts on such cold nights. Have a feeling that good deed will go a long way. Blessings to you Bro. Hope you heal up fast.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow! I felt the cold in your pictures. It was real. I could feel the coldness gripping my body and I was chilled to the bone.
    Then you introduced a story that was so heart warming that it began to melt the cold encompassing my body. You told it with such compassion my heart began to swell thinking and I can call this man my friend. A good man whose heart is filled with compassion, kindness and love for mankind. You did well my friend. I needed to hear your story. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Only a 20 degree difference. It’s supposed to warm up 40 degrees by tomorrows end I guess….with huge winds of course and some more snow. I’m not quite ready for making snow angels in a bathing suit yet.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Thanks, Gary, for the pictures and the story that warmed my heart. What a difference the Spirit makes!

    I was going to the grocery store this afternoon, and saw a doe crossing the road off in the distance. I was surprised to see her out and about in the daylight, but I guess she needed to be somewhere else!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I love the beautiful pictures and I always love hearing about people helping one another and truly caring. There are many wonderful examples that take place all over the world. Touches my heart and brings tears. I try to focus on them and not just the bad stuff. I’ll add the truck driver and family to my prayers. Thoughtful human compassion in action is stronger than the heartaches and results of cruel people.
    Thank you so much for sharing, Gary. 🙂
    Shalom,
    Chaya חיה

    Liked by 4 people

      1. That’s right = family. 🙂 I think prayers are one of the best gifts we can give to one another and we can no matter where we are. Such a wonderful blessing our Creator has given us. I know how much I appreciate prayers. Praying for many blessings for you, Gary. 🙂
        Shalom,
        Chaya חיה

        Liked by 2 people

    1. We probably don’t get to connect all the dots and connections of smiles, prayer, random acts and all that went into the Spirit bringing each other closer to Christ and each other until eternity. Then we shall know even as we are known.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good post, but it is a shame that the love for all people has to be filtered through an exclusive belief called Christianity. Love is universal. If a Muslim was cold, would he be brought into warmth and then lectured on becoming a Christian?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, Our dear lady had no idea who this strange truck driver was or what he believed. She was just showing love to a stranger and finding out his story. Her testimony has more to do with showing love to someone because she knew the Lord was asking her to do it. To do something bigger than her, to allow God to work and love through her. She is an introvert and the truck driver did most of the talking. Seems his testimony on his side had to do with God trying to get his attention. The story is brutally honest, and quite funny, how total strangers become family. Both of them would say they were side-swiped by Gods love…this was much bigger than them.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Thank you Gary – puts cold into perspective even if the photographs do not portray how cold it really is! So glad the truck driver did not have to sleep in his cab. So glad for the compassion he was shown.

    I have been in temperatures as low as yours when I was at sea (Russia and Canada in winter), and once or twice since. But these days a light frost in the morning seems cold to me – we have had quite a few frosts so far this winter bur no snow. Temperature has not fallen below 27 Fahrenheit yet – that must sound tropical to you!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Love the story and the chickadee. Having worked outdoors in New England and upstate New York for decades I always wondered how such tiny birds (or even deer) survived and looked content. Yes Winter has a brutal beauty best seen from inside the truck with a hot cup of coffee from my thermos warming my fingers!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. These photos are so beautiful. My favorite is the bird in the snow (last row, lower left). I like the advice to look for pictures of people helping one another. Such a better way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We keep an outdoor Christmas tree on the deck and decorate it with edible things for the winter. like popcorn strings for the birds. It also makes a good tree for taking pictures of mostly chickadees.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thankyou Linda. I did take some of them from inside the house so I wimp out now and then. It’s still fun. Really cold weather is a good time to watch cold beauty and think about life with a cup of hot chocolate handy

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Wayne, I have been reminded often that being retired and living in the north woods, one can still make a difference in a myriad of ways. I pray our insights (You are an insightful person) keep on being profitable to others.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I agree Donna. I froze my fingers positioning the camera on a tripod and shooting a slow shutter speed to make it look like the snow laden white pine limb was coldly supporting the moon. As if to say “If you fall, I’ll catch you”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You Stephanie. I sure like that contrast. “Warmth in a cold winter’s night” would be an apt title for this incident.
      The concepts of Christ are often opposites of our human nature…”Give out of poverty” “turn the other cheek’ “love your enemy” “think of each other as more important than yourselves”…and so on.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks Gary, I always enjoy your reads. There is nothing like walking down a snow covered trail 6 pm in the dark, with the head lamp on. It’s a peace that only God can provide.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tom. I am hoping to get better at writing and communicating, even in retirement.
      I know what you mean about God’s peace in the night in the woods. I take the dog for a walk every evening with the headlamp on. The weather dictates how far we can go. Wow, You guys have had some wicked north winds in your neck of the woods…then it comes our way.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Where I went to college got down to temperatures like you’re describing…it truly is hard to describe or picture! But there’s something truly beautiful when it’s that cold as well. The stars are also brighter.

    And I love your story. What a great reminder to listen to that gentle nudging from the Spirit when we’re called to help someone.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you Jennifer, it is quite a story.. Every winter in extreme cold, I am reminded how fragile we as people are.
    At our best,, with the highest tech clothing, we would not last long without shelter and a fire. I am, however fascinated with the gift of enjoying beauty, communicating beauty to others and being stirred within knowing I am in the presence of both art and artist should I go there.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Gary, your photos are amazing, but the account of the woman who shared her home is simply beautiful. I know she and her family are already blessed. Thank you for sharing her story. It’s things like that that help me believe there is still hope for humanity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank You Steve. It’s a great story of someone who was way out of their element doing what she did, Her story is powerful to those of us who know this little timid women. She simply says “God asked her to do it and gave me boldness with no fear” many of the unshared details are incredible in the truckers family…fun story….

      Liked by 1 person

  15. One of my former churches had a prison ministry (that’s actually why I had joined them), and also a group where they helped men who had come out of prison and prayed for them.
    However, during the Sunday Services, they were not well received at all…Once, there was a celebration and there was food, and I was the only one who sat with “them”- everyone else sat elsewhere.

    I love what the lady you know did!
    We could use some ladies like her over here where I live and I would love to have somewhere where I could direct “my guys” when they come out of prison – because I think that’s a big problem in and with the church!

    We are ALL called to help those who are less fortunate, and when they are in prison, they come to know THE LORD and have hope and all these positive plans for their future, but when they come out, nobody wants to be their family and no church wants to receive and accept them – SO sad!
    Again, well done for your lady friend, I love that she did that! GOD bless her!

    And from working with prisoners / in prison every day, I reckon she and her husband had more interesting company than if she had invited a “normal” churchgoer.

    Love the story.
    And the way you built the bridge from the ice cold (outside and in mankind) to the heartwarming act of kindness.
    When I grow up, I want to write like you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The fun part of the story is the complete change in the oldest daughters life. When the Lord leads, He gets a lot of mileage out of our following. Which reminds me of some writing advice…
      Please don’t write like me, you can do better. set your sights higher Eva.
      Just keep writing and let the Lord lead on your creativity to get points across

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for the advice, but there is no other way I could possibly create an article and let alone so many over the years – only with GOD’s help and inspiration can I do this!
        And I give HIM all the glory for whatever will or already has come out of it.
        But yours are godly AND witty, that’s the great thing about them – I do very much love your style of writing!

        Liked by 2 people

  16. Thank you Eva. I guess I have two goals in my writing style (aside from being interesting and having a unique perspective). Say a lot in a few words without saying it all. Let the readers imagination figure out the details of what you have led them to. Turn onto a side road and bring them to a surprise that you have purposefully led them to. One that fits. Most blogs are predictable as to where they are heading. The reader has already guessed much of the content….here is an example of the most important concept one could grasp out of scripture. let me know if you agree…https://garyfultz.com/2021/04/12/raging-waters-rescue/

    Liked by 1 person

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