Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

Probably he got caught in a steel trap like this one over here," their dad said, pointing to an exhibit in the next case.
"But how could he get free from that?" Julie asked.

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– posted 12.04.2009

#56- Infinite Care

A Character story about creativity.

"You sure look glum," Jason commented to Julie as she sat on the coach, staring out the window at the falling snow. "Anything wrong?"
"No, not really. I guess I'm just bored already. And the Christmas holiday just began. I wish there were some other girls around to play with."
"I'd play with you but I also wanted to finish a secret project in the basement. It's a Christmas present for Dad."
"If you tell me, I promise I'll keep it a secret."
"Well, O.K. It's a small book shelf to fit on top of his desk. Want to see it?"
"Yeah, I guess. It's better than the 'excitement' of sitting around watching the snow fall." The twins had just started for the basement when headlights flashed in the window. "That ends that idea. I think that's Mom and Daddy home already."
In a minute Mr. and Mrs. Jensen entered the kitchen carrying several grocery bags. "Hi, kids. There are a couple more bags in the trunk."
"I'll get them," Jason offered and headed out the door.
"Wait 'til I show you two what I have tonight," Mr. Jensen beamed.
"What is it? Tell me," Julie insisted. "Is it something for Christmas?"
"Nope. I was able to get this bottle of ethylene dichloride from a friend of mine."
"I never would have guessed that one."
"We're going to use it to save some of those beautiful snowflakes," Mr. Jensen continued. "It's a perfect day for us."
"What's this about saving snowflakes?" Jason asked as he laid the two bags on the table.
"That's right," Mr. Jensen promised. "But first we need a piece of black construction paper."
"I'll get that," Julie offered. "I have a piece in my room."
"Good. Put it in the freezer with this bottle and eye dropper. We'll leave them there until after supper."
Following the meal and dishes, the twins huddled close to their dad to see what he was up to. While Mrs. Jensen finished feeding Joshua, Mr. Jensen took the medicine dropper, his bottle of ethylene dichloride, and the black construction paper from the freezer, and, with the twins close at hand, exited into the snowy air.
"Here, Julie, you take the paper and collect a few snowflakes. They won't melt on this cold paper . . . Good. Now, Jason, you use this dropper to squirt a drop of this ethylene dichloride on each flake . . . O.K. Now we'll leave it here on the garage floor where it is protected from other flakes. Everything should be set in about twenty minutes. In the mean time, let's go back into the house."
"What's it going to do?" Julie asked as she hung her coat in the closet. What does that ethyl stuff do?"
"You wait and see," Mr. Jensen responded. "A snow flake is a fantastic work of creativity, as you will see."
At the suggestion of their mother, the twins began to make some buttered popcorn for a later treat.
"Four things are needed to make a snow flake," Mr. Jensen explained. "Do you know what they are?"
"Water," Jason offered first.
"And cold air," Julie added.
"Right. Do either of you know the other two?" They shook their heads. "Wind and dirt are also needed."
"Dirt?" Jason asked.
"That's right. A piece of dust will grow colder than the surrounding air. Because of this, moisture condenses on it, much like water condensed on the side of your glass of ice water last summer. It takes one quintillion water molecules to make one snow flake. That is one with eighteen zeros after it!"
"Wow!" Jason responded. "To make a normal sized flake?"
"Yup. These molecules from the moist air condense on the dust particle and in only a tenth of a second turn into ice. Now the wind does its job. The wind blows the dust particle through the moist air and it continues to collect water molecules until it gets too heavy for the air. Then, down it falls as snow. Pretty beautiful air cleaning service, wouldn't you say?"
"Yeah."
"So, if you happen to get tired of the snow, just think of the good it is doing for you."
"Daddy, is it true that each snow flake is six-sided?" Julie asked.
"Let's see for ourselves." Mr. Jensen glanced at the clock. "Our flakes should be ready to bring into the house."
"I'll get them," Jason offered.
Jason brought the construction paper into the kitchen and laid it on the table. Eight snow flakes glowed from the black paper while the others quickly melted away. Mr. Jensen took a magnifying glass and began to examine the flakes. "Hmmmm," was all he said after viewing each one.
"What is it, Daddy?" Julie insisted. "What are you 'Hmmm'ing about?"
"See for yourself. These are real beauties." Julie, and then Jason took the glass and examined all eight flakes. "Well, what did you decide?"
"They each have six sides all right," Julie confessed. "Yet each one is very different from the others."
"The shape of these flakes is called 'dendrite.' They are the most beautiful at 26 degrees Fahrenheit or 2 below zero Celsius. Other flakes might look like plates and, in very cold air, like prisms. Yet each one is six-sided and each one is different because they 'grow' in different ways in the wind."
"That is amazing," Jason responded. "And to think that God would make such a fancy thing that will normally just melt right away."
"That's a good point, Son. And if God takes such care to make snow flakes that will soon pass away, how much more will He care for us. His goal for us is not a six-sided beauty like this, but that we might be like His Son Jesus in every word, thought, and deed."
"Thanks for that reminder, Daddy," Julie said. "I was feeling rather 'down' this afternoon, but this has reminded me how much God shares in every detail of my life. If I remember that, I won't feel sad on gloomy days like this."
"Well, I'm glad it's been more than just interesting, kids. Sissy, you reminded me of a promise given to us in Philippians chapter one. Paul says here, "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.' Putting it very simply, this means, God has a design for us, and what He begins, He finishes!"
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