I’m looking for the road where I was to meet someone I knew long ago. I’m not sure who it is and exactly where I’m supposed to go. The guide said I will recognize the place and the person when the time comes. There are many roads in my life to choose from. Some wind over mountains, some through deep valleys. Some roads are straight; some are sharply cut by crossroads. The road I need to walk on is sandy. Low bushes are all that grow there.
The person I should meet is walking along this road. He is familiar. He has always wanted to meet me, but his time has been taken up by so many responsibilities for the welfare of others, so I never really met him. Today he is at the Volunteer house. He has overheard a voice and thought it was me and another guy. But that other guy just was talking to himself in the dark. I have to meet this man who has come searching for me. We have a great quarrel because he thinks the guy talking to himself has put me under his spell, and will soon lead me astray, just as his beloved youngest sister was led astray.
His time with others has made him completely blind to who I really am – and also made me blind to know who he is.
He has brought me gifts. The first is a picture of his youngest sister. He says I remind him of her. She disappointed him terribly when she was young. He is afraid I will do the same. I don’t want that picture! I am not like her. Her road, her choices are not my choices. He can keep her picture – or rather throw it away, since it gives him so much pain. She was to follow his footsteps, but found other footsteps which led her astray.
The other gift is a picture of my oldest brother who died when he was four. He said that when I was born, I took my oldest brother’s place in his heart. My oldest brother was also to follow in his footsteps, but he died and went to heaven. That picture I will keep, but I cannot fill my oldest brother’s shoes. His life was so short. He showed me the way to heaven. He sent me a message through the twinkling stars all through my childhood:
“We will meet in heaven. Keep on the road so you get here too.”
His third gift was a picture of my mother. Her picture I will always keep with me. Though the picture he had of her was torn and smeared with her tears and her burdens. I said, ‘This is the picture I want to keep most of all. I want to follow in her footsteps, not yours. Your feet have been too heavy, your step too large, your stride too fast. I can never keep up with you. You have been away far too much, leaving us with mother in times when her burden was too heavy, her tears watering our souls, keeping them soft enough for the good seed to grow; to strengthen us and help us know how to make the right choices in life.
His eyes were pained by the words I said. He could not understand how he had lost me or why he had never even known me. We had never talked like this, though we had our battles years before. His fears remained – that I would do what his sister had done. He just had to wait and see what his little girl would do with her life. It was out of his control.
Just the worn and torn picture of mother would help her make the right choices.