I met the dog first. He had a sign on his back that said, “Don’t pet me, I’m working.” Well evidently this particular Labrador couldn’t read because he wagged his way towards me, nudging my hand with his beautiful head. I pretended I couldn’t read either and gave him the affection he needed. Then I turned my attention to his owner.
We chatted for a while, the usual small talk acquaintances engage in. I asked him about his summer, if he had a good one and if he had taken a vacation. He told me of a trip he and his wife had taken. It was a pilgrimage of sorts to a site known in the Catholic community for the appearance of holy phenomena. Part of the trip required a climb up an uneven and rocky hill. The first time he attempted the climb he had to abandon the effort; the terrain was too rough for someone who is almost completely blind. He and his wife were terribly disappointed. They had traveled quite a distance and wouldn’t be able to accomplish their goal. Over the next few days they made several more attempts, none successful. Finally they found a solution. While his wife walked ahead of him this man concentrated the tiny amount of sight he possessed on her feet. She took one step, he saw her heel dimly and put his foot where hers had been.
I’m not sure if they found what they were looking for on their pilgrimage, but in the story he shared about their passage up the hill I found a sacred lesson. The path we walk in this life will be hard, treacherous even, at times. We will sometimes be blinded by our heartaches and circumstances. In those times, we have a guide and Savior who climbed the rocky hill of Calvary to show just how much he loves us and what a faithful and true guide he wants to be in our lives. If we concentrate on Christ and follow Him, he will gently lead us. One day at a time, one step at a time until we are, at last, safely home.
Sweetly, Lord, have we heard Thee calling,
Come, follow Me!
And we see where Thy footprints falling
Lead us to Thee.
Though they lead o’er the cold, dark mountains,
Seeking His sheep;
Or along by Siloam’s fountains,
Helping the weak.
If they lead through the temple holy,
Preaching the Word;
Or in homes of the poor and lowly,
Serving the Lord.
Then at last when on high He sees us,
Our journey done,
We will rest where the steps of Jesus
End at His throne.
Footprints of Jesus,
That make the pathway glow;
We will follow the steps of Jesus
Wherever they go.