Clearing the Path

The flair moment arrived early this morning as my daughter and I clung on to one another on the walk to school. We stayed trapped on icy sidewalks. Beside us, the depth of the slushy snow in the yards repelled us from that safer path, and the cars rushing past on the road kept us from walking on the cleared street.

So we walk slowly and deliberately on this dangerous passage.

But then, we approach a house with dear neighbors who always shovel their sidewalks and salt down the path to force the ice to melt. We unlock arms, walk with confidence, and enjoy the strange feeling of gratitude for something as simple as walking on a clear path.

Then, we’re back to a sidewalk slick with black ice.

I think about that cleared section that stood out so starkly amid the treachery of ice on the downhill walk. I thought about how we could breathe easy, relax our shoulders, and continue our journey. We could look up and not down to our feet. We could look at each other and talk about the day. We could smile and hope and dream.

Something about clearing the path resonated deep within me as I considered what it means to be a mother and wife and neighbor. I thought about smoothing out a safe passage, of removing–as best as I know how–obstacles to the journeys we take in life. I thought of identifying and removing the traps of the enemy for others. What would it look like for me to shovel and salt and clear the way–of discouragement, hopelessness, doubt, cynicism, and fear? How can I act as an agent of blessing and healing everywhere I go?

I walked home on the ice, and I couldn’t wait for the relief of that one cleared patch of sidewalk. I want my whole life to feel like that for others; when they come near, it feels like a clear path on their journey with Jesus. Here, it’s a place to rest, breathe, and rejoice.

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