Psalms 23:6 - Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The scripture had been known by me since I could pick up a bible and read but as I resting the other night it occurred to me, why did goodness and mercy follow? Why did goodness and mercy not lead the way? I put the thought to rest and fell asleep, taking a small cat nap before getting up to make dinner. I turned on the television to have background noise as I began preparing the meal for that evening. The narrator’s rich, calm voice filled the room after the dramatic musical beginning to the true-crime television show had ended. The show was about a cold case crime that had occurred almost thirty years before. The only evidence left behind was a footprint. Footprint – the word jump started the thinking process again as I stood there slicing celery bits and placing them into a bowl. What is a footprint exactly? It’s a sign that you have been there. It’s an impression that is made and in this case it is an identifier. If the investigators had found a person with motive then the next step would be to inspect the suspect’s shoes. If there was a match then that person had a lot of explaining to do. I was also reminded of the poem Footprints. Now, if you can read then you more than likely have read this poem. It is a beautiful illustration of the love and comfort of the Lord and demonstrates how Jesus carries us through our trials. Though certainly not to take away from the tenderness and truthfulness of the poem, I ask you to consider another explanation as to why there was only one set up footprints. Perhaps we had followed. No, I am not declaring that we could ever fill Jesus’ footsteps. Does he not call us to walk as he walked? Can we not hear his words ring true and loud – “Come, follow me.” In doing so, does he not say, “Imitate me, do as I do, walk as I walk and talk as I talk.” As we begin our journey there may be sloppy strides, hand and arm prints where we have fallen but eventually as we mature and allow his love to change us, our footprints disappear until finally there is the harmony of two prints merging together into one beautiful, perfect set of prints that tells the world – we’ve been here, we’ve made an impression and when you see me you see Christ. For the more we decrease and Christ is increased in our lives, the more “one” we become with our Savior and goodness and mercy shall follow.