Clear the path.

My section of this Iowa place received a heavy snow yesterday, leaving all things still and quiet and white as only an early January snow can do. While I shoveled and salted all the things this evening, I noted the heavy boot prints across my yard where the postal worker had walked to deliver my mail and decided to clear her a path through the deep snow so she wouldn’t have to wade in it in the coming days. My neighbor shook his head. (I know he thinks I’m crazy anyway.)

When I finished my labors, I couldn’t help but think of other path-clearing stories I know:

John the Baptist cleared the way for Jesus.

The crowd sang “Hosanna” and cleared the way for the Savior to be seen.

Jesus’s death and love on the cross opened up the path for us to be reconciled to our God and King.

I see these stories not just in biblical terms, but in ordinary bits as well. I recall a friend telling me how her life is littered with moments of clearing the way for her husband to step up in his ministry after she established stable work, though they never planned for her to go first anywhere.

A professor I admire encourages her students to find their quiet places of rest where they may commune with the Lord and learn to bring those quiet places into the chaos of ordinary and in so doing, bring about peace. The path she clears for her students to examine their hearts is a gorgeous sight.

As a collective of fellow travelers, I encourage us all to clear the path for each other. Make a way for a missionary to travel. Create space for littles to explore their artistic abilities. Encourage someone you love to be brave in a new thing. Allow the colleague at work some freedom to be heard and known. Let your kid be a little wild sometimes. Above all, clear some space for loving and being loved. It is the best path, that one.

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