Posted by: karanoel | November 29, 2021

A path freely given

In my town, sidewalks do not run along the whole street, which would allow pedestrians and kids a consistent, safe place to travel. Instead, they start and end abruptly, without any apparent rhyme or reason, spitting those on foot and bike onto the street to contend with parked and moving cars. This is true of the first leg of our ride to school, with only one small segment of sidewalk before it suddenly ends at a driveway and remains absent for a good long while.

There are a few front yards after the sidewalk ends, though, with a patch of untended ground; dirt that can be used in lieu of a sidewalk. Since these are technically someone’s property, we try to avoid using them… unless there are parked cars which would require us to ride with our kid into the middle of the road, in which case trespassing seems like the better option. 

I noticed some landscape work going on in the barren part of one such yard and immediately thought, “I totally get it. All of our feet and dogs and bikes have encroached on your yard long enough. It’s time to reclaim your property.” And then I got closer. My heart melted and tears came to my eyes. Yes, there was landscaping – some native plants and lighting – but right in the middle of them was a beautiful, curved path, leading pedestrians safely from one end of the property to the other.

You guys, they didn’t have to do that. It’s their property. They could have extended their fence to keep people off, or landscaped it in a way that made it impossible to cross. But they chose not only to grant safe access, but to provide beauty to anyone traveling through. 

As the queen of self-protective wall-erecting, I can’t tell you how deeply I’ve been moved by this gesture. It has me questioning, what if we stopped building walls and barriers to protect what is rightfully ours from all the people trampling through and instead offered a safe and beautiful passage to bless them on their journey? What if we, like Jesus, willingly lay down our lives for others… maybe not inside the intimate places inside our “home,” for starters, but just the edges we don’t even really need? Could it be that hearts are softened and unlikely friends are made in the process? Could it be that we find more joy in the giving than anyone passing through?

This last question was answered affirmatively by a man who offered a chalk racetrack instead of resentment or judgment to a kid who frequented his driveway on a bike. Not only did he delight the kid, but so many other passersby, and, of course, himself in the process. [See the video here.] I desperately want to live more fully in this realm, where I can willingly lay down my rights and firmly established boundaries in order to bring joy to the life of another on the often hard and sometimes dangerous journey of life. That is my prayer.

No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. John 10:18

…remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35


Responses

  1. Another beautiful post. YOU are amazing. 🧡🧡🧡 Joe

    >

    • Thank you Uncle Joe! You are the best! 💗💗💗

  2. Another winner!! Pictures told your story!! Thanks.
    Paul

    • Thank you Paul! Pictures are the best. Although it cracked me up that there were no cars on the street when I took the photo… which made it look like a much mellower street than it usually is 😄

  3. Wonderful! Although I prefer sidewalks (unless you’re in Massachusetts!). Do you think you’ll put these posts into book form? Makes a great devotional.

    On Mon, Nov 29, 2021 at 12:35 PM where waves grow sweet wrote:

    > karanoel posted: ” In my town, sidewalks do not run along the whole > street, which would allow pedestrians and kids a consistent, safe place to > travel. Instead, they start and end abruptly, without any apparent rhyme or > reason, spitting those on foot and bike onto the stree” >

    • I am a fan of sidewalks too! But definitely enjoyed this magical substitute. Hmmm I don’t know about putting posts in a devotional. Guess we will see!

  4. Yes!

    • 😍

  5. Amen, Kara! May we all not only learn to build but to be paths, showing the way and keeping others from harm. Merry Christmas!

    • Or should I say Noel?

    • Yes and amen, Mitch! Merry Christmas! -Kara (Noel is my middle name 🙂


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