It’s Getting Cold

It’s getting cold.

I walk to work in the morning with my body bundled into a warm coat, my feet in boots, my head down to keep the wind from biting too fiercely. We who are on these streets walk quickly, there is no room for small talk or conversation. We are glad to get to our destinations and breathe, away from the wind and the cold.

It’s getting cold. Yet there are still homeless on my streets. There are still men and women huddled together, spooning under blankets for comfort, there are still signs that say “Homeless. Can you help?” Shivering in the morning wind, Charlie asks me for spare change. I get him a cup of coffee and move on.

Border crossing - Turkey Syria

It’s getting cold. And Syrian refugees in no man’s land are in flimsy tents with little to guard them from the incoming winter. Bare feet and no jackets for children of all ages, families that have nothing left, a system strained under fear and corruption that has to fight to make sure aid goes where it is most needed.

I am acutely aware of all of this as I take a hot shower and sit before a warm heater drinking hot coffee. It’s getting cold and there are so many without — without heat, without home, without family. I can hardly bear this, hardly bear the thought of millions of refugees that can’t keep warm or nourished. Hardly bear that I walk by homeless huddled for comfort.

“This is not the way life should be” I shout in my head to a silent Heaven.

It’s getting cold and I have my choice of 3 coats to wear and scarves line my closet. It’s getting cold and I have warm sweaters and food, heat and light. I pray the only prayer that makes sense: “Lord Have Mercy” adding a question to the end of the prayer:

“How can I bring warmth to a world that is so cold?”

How do we bring warmth to a world that is cold? 


date raisin muffinsI don’t know about you, but I find baking healing. Especially when the goods can be shared. Stacy has an amazing recipe today: Date Syrup Raisin Muffins. One of the things I love about Stacy is that she links stories to her recipes. Here is what she says about this recipe: “This week on Monday, 2 December, the UAE celebrates its 42nd National Day so I decided to create a muffin with some local-ish flavors.  This muffin is made with date honey or syrup and cardamon along with some cinnamon and raisins.  For those who can’t find date honey, molasses is an excellent substitute both in deep flavor and consistency.” If you try these muffins – let us know! Either click on the picture or the link above to get to the recipe.

7 thoughts on “It’s Getting Cold

  1. Having visited Syria a few years ago I am saddened by the events in that country and the havoc, distress, heart ache, destruction, horror, etc. people have to endure. When I saw TV accounts of fighting in Aleppo and Damascus, I wanted to cry. We walked those streets, met beautiful people who engaged in conversations and I loved the inter-action. Images of this refugee camp are heart-breaking. May God have mercy.


    1. I didn’t know you were in Syria! I’ve never visited but my heart is there more and more. Walking the streets of a place changes us in ways we can’t anticipate. Your last sentence says it all – it’s too big for any of us. May God have mercy.


  2. We have a family tradition on Thanksgiving (or whatever day we celebrate) of going around the table and each saying what we are most thankful that year. As I stood under my hot shower that morning, I thought of how blessed I was to be enjoying not only running water, but hot water. That I have a beautiful home and had just climbed out of a soft bed. And I looked ahead to the day, knowing there would be roast turkey and too many side dishes and pecan pie. When so many are subsisting without. How blessed we are.

    It’s hard to know where to start to help with the need is so great, but I think back to a Bible study lesson I heard recently on 12 women of the Bible. That day the lesson was on Mary of Bethany who anointed Jesus with the expensive perfume, much to the horror of the onlookers. But Jesus supported her decision and said, “She did what she could.” The lady teaching the study focused on that small phrase and encouraged us all to do what we can. It may not be much or it may be a lot, but if we each do what we can, we can be sure we are doing the right thing. And with many of us doing what we can, the job looks less overwhelming that each person looking at the whole picture.


    1. It’s with hot showers that I too am most reminded. What is it about the hot shower? I so appreciate this comment for two reasons: 1 – I am reminded that I am not the Saviour (like I need reminding….so pathetic) and we are called to respond as we can in prayer and with what we can. 2- I realized when I went to the post that the latest version hadn’t posted. So I put it to the latest version which has the muffin recipe — thank you!


      1. Not at all. It is a blessing to me when you share.

        As a child and through my teens, I belonged to a Girl Scout troop that focused on hiking and camping, especially as we got older. I remember well the bliss of that first long hot shower after a few days away roughing it. Or the same after a day at the beach or on the boat, sandy and a little sunburned. And I imagine what it must be like to live that way always. Never feeling really clean because I don’t have access to running water, never mind HOT running water. I try not to take it for granted but I must admit it’s hard as I get caught up in all I have to do some days. Which is another reason I love to read your posts. All reminders are good reminders!


  3. Hi Marilyn I do like reading your blog.  You ARE a good writer and express many thoughts that catch my interest. I also probably won’t comment in the public section, just fyi When is Cliff leaving?  What CAN we do along with prayer for the Syrian refugees.  I think about it all the time.  It is amazing that we raised so much money for the orphanage in Bulgaria, although we did have a personal connections there as some of our folks visited it this last summer. I did ask Cliff if he had some thoughts on what we could do.  Any ideas? Love PPaula



    1. Paula – your words are so affirming. They make me smile. Cliff’s trip is on hold right now. We are thinking it will be in January. Love that so much money was raised for the orphanage. I’ll talk to Cliff – I’d love to have a party where we get together and put together more kits. I think both Conscience International and IOCC are great organizations to go through. Thanks for reading and interacting!


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