A young woman attended a concert last week in Milwaukee, and then an afterparty.  She was wearing shorts, fishnet stockings, and a tank top.  Good party clothing, I suppose, if you don’t care about modesty or giving boys the wrong (right?) idea.  But not so great for winter in Wisconsin.  By the time she left on foot at 4:30 a.m., it was –5.8 degrees Fahrenheit, -27 with the wind chill.

            She was found just around the corner a few hours later, frozen to death.  Yes, alcohol seems to have been involved.  But we’ll talk about decision-making under the influence another time.

            I want to address the topic of freezing.  Someone is already poorly positioned to retain whatever body heat she might have; then she intentionally runs away from an abundant supply of heat and thrusts herself into a climate that is sure to threaten her life or (as it turns out) end it.  How does that happen.  Yes, I know.  Alcohol.  But at a more basic level, it is a lack of appreciation for the vital things of life, and for the tragedy that will ensue if those vital things are absent.

            Of course, I am talking about fellowship — with God first, and then with brethren.  It is a cold, cold world out there.  And not just three months out of the year, or just in Wisconsin.  Every day, every month, every location.  Left to yourself, you will destroy yourself.  And the courage you find in do-it-yourself solutions invariably make the situation worse instead of better.  (I know.  Again with the alcohol.)

            Thankfully, you have a choice.  You can retreat into the warm embrace of God, and by extension that of brethren in Christ.  Ecclesiastes 4:11 reads, “Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?”  Fellowship warms the freezing soul right down to the core. What a tragedy that many steer clear of it just when they need it most.

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