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By Kelly Baker
Correspondent 

Not Your Typical Church Lady: Footsteps in the Snow

 

February 7, 2019



It had snowed during the day. When I arrived home, the sidewalk to the house was snow-covered and needed shoveled, but first I had to traverse the snowy path to get to the house, where the shovel sat waiting for me on the front porch. It was a light fluffy snow, the kind you don’t mind shoveling (if there is such a thing.)

Upon reaching the porch I grabbed the shovel, turned and began to clear the path back to the driveway. Looking ahead, my footprints made a visible trail in the snow. When I reached the end of the sidewalk I turned to walk back to the house, happy the walk was cleared. That’s when I noticed my footprints. The original footprints in the snow were still there. The rest of the snow was removed and the path was clear, but a white footprint of where I had walked to get to the house remained.

“You broaden my path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn” (2 Samuel 22:37, NIV).

It made me think of other paths in my life. Paths not walked physically, but emotionally or spiritually, paths that may have seemed difficult while I was on them. They were paths I was assigned to walk so that when I reached the end, I would know the way and be able to shovel my way back to help others who may be walking behind me. It made me think of those who have done the same for me, those who’ve walked before me, who have shared their wisdom and insights, their mistakes and triumphs. Their lessons have not fallen on deaf ears.

“When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43: 2-3a, NIV).

In the mini-series “Band of Brothers,” there is a scene in episode 7 “The Breaking Point” where American troops are at opposite ends of a town from each other. In the middle are German troops with heavy artillery. If one company doesn’t make sufficient forward progress, the other group may fall back and they wouldn’t be able to take the town. Through bullets and artillery, Lt. Speirs is sent in to relieve an inferior commanding officer of his duties and takes control of the situation. But they still need to get word to I Company that help is on the way. Following is one of my favorite scenes of cinematic history when Lt. Speirs runs straight through the enemy (literally), lets I Company know what’s happening and then… runs back through enemy again to return to his men.

“At first the Germans didn’t shoot. I think they couldn’t quite believe what they were seeing. But that wasn’t the really astounding thing. The astounding thing was that after he hooked up with I Company… he came back” (as narrated by 1st Sgt. Lipton).

Lt. Speirs ran fearlessly, his path was sure and his mind was on one objective. Then, he turned around and ran back the same way he had come, right through the enemy again so that he could continue to lead and aid his men.

“We also rejoice in our suffering because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us” (Romans 5:3-5a, NIV).

Jesus also forged a path for us. He went straight through the enemy lines victoriously. And then… he came back. After a brutal death of crucifixion, would you want to come back? Jesus did. He came back to show us the path to eternal life, to show us a better way, and to give us hope. (And hope does not disappoint.) He came back once and he’ll be coming back again.

Maybe the path you’re on today feels difficult. Maybe you’re not quite sure you’re still even ON the path. Maybe you don’t know where to put your foot down next. Stop. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath in. Now breathe out. There is a light just up ahead. Put one foot in front of the other. Repeat. Everywhere you step, you are leaving a footprint, indelibly marking the way for those who come behind you. Perhaps you will see the footsteps of those up ahead and they will help guide you. Perhaps you are without knowing it, guiding others. Look for the footprints of Jesus, walk in his steps and your path will be sure.

 

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