She would go barefoot 24/7 if she could, this little granddaughter of mine. Snow, rain, and puddles do not phase her at all. In fact, she loves to press her cold hands against my face just to hear me holler.
We were there, her grandma and grandpa, when awkwardly, robotically, one step, and then two, she took her first halting steps and then was caught in her mother’s embrace, a most warm and welcome place after having navigated – if that’s the word – a most unfamiliar rite of passage.
Two-and-a-half steps followed by hugs and kisses, laughter and tickles, as all ten little piggies made it home.
Upon arrival at church, dress shoes and socks are the first to go.
She loves to be held, and stand – barefoot – on the top rail of the pew ahead of us so that she can reach and muss up my hair while I am trying to be somewhat reverent during congregational singing.
Our church services are broadcast live so we try to avoid being in front of the camera.
When it’s time for the preacher to hold forth, my little granddaughter will sit in my lap, thus preventing me from taking notes, and she’ll wiggle her toes hoping we’ll play ‘this little pig went to market.’
That’s when I noticed the pastor’s text and her toes nearby.
“When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path.”
At some previous time, I had underlined the word “then.”
When my wife died of cancer, “then thou knewest my path.”
When we would have celebrated our 51st anniversary, I drove alone to where we would have gone together.
“Then thou knewest my path.”
In the margin I had written “Look Up” because three months after her death, I was walking along a path with my grandsons and saw above me the beauty of sunlight filtered through the trees. “Look up,” I discovered, in Hebrew, means “to peer into the distance.”
Oh, may this lonely path I travel cause me to look up, and may this little one I have the precious privilege of guiding along this journey, know too, assuredly, one day, that neither does she walk her path alone.