For most of the day, she stayed inside the house, but a few times she came out to “help” (and to do her business). She was such a good girl as she waited contentedly at a partially-opened gate and watched me carry loads of river rock from a pile in our front driveway to our back yard. I was pleased that she instinctively knew I would not abandon her; instead, she realized I would keep returning to prepare a more attractive “world” for her.
I suppose if Cora could talk, she would have asked me where I was going and what I was doing… like Jesus’ disciples did during the Last Supper. In John’s gospel we learn that the disciples were not content and a little unsettled when Jesus briefed them about the immediate future. He told them that he was preparing a place for them at his next destination, and they knew the way to that “world.” The disciple named Thomas was the one who asked Jesus to clarify his directions, saying, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus responded with a timeless declaration, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Those “directions” have provided hope and comfort for millions of “travelers” on their faith journey, and perhaps there is no clearer statement of Jesus’ role in the life of believers.
As a follower of Christ, I am grateful that the gospel writers (and all of the contributors to Scripture) have written down directions for me. Even though some issues are still debated in the minds and hearts of faithful Christians from all denominations, we have sufficient directions to lead us to a meaningful relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. The Old Testament points to Jesus, and the New Testament describes the life and teaching of Jesus, who stressed to his disciples, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” In essence, he told them (and all of us who continue to read about Him) that he provided more than adequate directions to find the Way (the name used by first century Christians) in this world and to the world to come.
Sadly, it seems to me that many tend to discount the “general” directions of our Lord--loving God and loving “our neighbor”--to make the Way more complicated than it needs to be. Perhaps Cora has a better perspective than most of us. She simply trusts me to take care of her needs, and, in return, she gives back her love and devotion.
Back to the choir’s song… the second verse stated, “We tend to make it harder, build steeples out of stone, fill books with explanations of the Way; but if we’d stop and listen and break a little bread we would hear the Master say— It’s loving God, loving each other, making music with my friends. Loving God, loving each other, and the story never ends.”
Indeed, our story continues…. so, let us love God and each other!