As I walk my path I look ahead and see a daunting giant waiting ahead for me. He is an ugly beast with a snarling face grinning at me. We have had a terrible past that has brought much pain and suffering. My body is marked with scars from our battles and as I limp toward him I sense a quickening in my spirit. A fear of what could be. He is still far enough in the distance for my path to curve and avoid him completely but he is pacing patiently waiting for his time to come.
I try to distract myself with mindless efforts. Anything to keep me from facing this beast again. Time slips away as I keep my head down and drag my feet along the cobblestone path. Numbing myself to the environment around me as an attempt to prolong the inevitable. A choice must be made to face the beast again or not. I know the answer is to look up to the heavens at the throne that makes me whole but my head is too comfortable in its downward position. I have become used to the pauper walk. I slouch and lower my eyes only looking for scraps. The rhythm of this routine results in offbeat thinking and anxious moments.
As I slowly make my way forward I notice a little flower off to the side of my path in the grass. I stop and decide such a pretty thing deserves to be looked at. I hear the snarls of the beast ahead, he is closer. The flower blows softly in the wind like an invitation. I twist my body and bend over to touch the petals. In that moment it is uprooted and blows away. I finally look up to watch as it drifts through the wind and see as it lands in a whole patch of flowers. I take a step off the cobblestone path and walk towards the meadow. My gait has changed and my shoulders are starting to lift back as I approach. I enter the field and see a table has been set up with delicious treats and drink. My favorite things are all set before me and I realize I am famished. The scraps could not sustain me much longer. I take a seat and hear my name being called. I look up and see the Shepherd at the head of the table smiling. He made this all for me.
“I was hoping you would come,” He says “I missed our conversations.”
I began to weep and asked Him how I had gotten so far into poverty.
“But don’t you see, child? Even though your head was down I still called to you.”
I remembered the little flower that had drifted away and led me to this meadow away from the beast. My heart leapt with gratitude that He still saw me as He made me and not as what I chose to be. But what of the beast? He still blocks my path.
“We will face him together, dear one. I will be with you on your path and we will walk as one. Nothing will be able to stop us as we journey forward but for now let us feast.”
The afternoon was spent in laughter as we communed. We called our friends to join and soon there was an entire army that would fight the beast together. It was laughable to think I could have faced him alone but even more so to think he had a chance against all of us. It turned into a beautiful day thanks to that little flower. I sit back in my chair with a full belly and soak in the presence of the Shepherd. I know the time is coming to face the beast but this time I do not sense fear but instead a courage rising within and an excitement for where the path leads afterward.
Perhaps another feast to celebrate the victory.