She Took One More Step
She took one more step. As soon as her heel lifted out of the sand the winds blew and covered her last track with the fine, tan particles. And so with every step it was though she had never taken any steps before. The progress seemed nonexistent, even though she knew very well she was moving forward; towards the somewhere she knew in her heart existed. Yet her inability to see her own tracks in the sand made the journey appear bleak and uncharted. Her blood, once hot with passion, had cooled enough to where she felt twinges of numbness come over her sporadically.
She took one more step. As she breathed in a deep breath she glanced down at the small, purple desert flower she still held in her hand and she thought of his name. An explosion went off in her heart like a sonic boom. He was undeniable. And it was true that at the mention of his name something inside her leapt with joy and desperation; a longing for new life to permeate her very being, for even the rocks cry out. She smiled, though she tried to resist the outward expression of happiness, for it contradicted her chosen posture for the moment. But she smiled for a moment and then she pressed on with resolute seriousness and took another step.
There was nothing glamorous about this part of the journey, but as he kept reminding her in small whispers and nudges, it was absolutely necessary to the master plan. She knew it was true too, but for some reason she continued to fight against the very hand that held her up. Her stubbornness was either her jewel or her sackcloth, depending on what she used it for. Right now it was her sackcloth for she refused to wear a smile in the desert. She refused to pretend and saw genuine contentment as a far off notion, a silly idea of the optimist’s diluted imagination.
She remembered how just a few weeks earlier he’d surrounded her with thornbushes, a byproduct of her own request. But she hated it. The sharp shards of disappointment stung her with every slight movement. She tried to get out, but quickly accepted her momentary fate. For the scriptures say,
“Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them…
Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Trouble a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt.”
She tried to speak to him but her murmurs were faint. She knew that he would not respond until she learned how to smile in the desert and trust from a place of unfamiliarity. She knew this yet she tarried. She wrestled with her own ideas and decided today was not the day.
But she knew in her heart that she’d get there because of His faithfulness. His kindness can melt even the most brick-laden of hearts.
She took one more step.