The Ribbon appeared from nowhere and set me upon its path. I was given no choice in the matter. Shocked, I looked down the corridor to see where it would lead but a curve ahead gave no indication. Fact was I knew many who had gone this road before me. Some had tread only a short distance while others seemed to be forever enslaved to it. How far would my walk be? How would I finish its course? Having never been this way I only knew it would take me places no one wished to go. I was enraged!
To everyone it is awareness. Reminder to pray. Tribute showing support of the cause. I knew that. More than once I offered my time and well wishes. But I was no longer an observer with token offerings. No, this passage would open once hidden doors allowing pain, fear, doubts, intrusions, and indignities of every kind to assault me. The core of my very being would be tested. I was afraid.
The task immediately required sacrifice that weighted my beliefs. Propriety shed a layer of apathy. Questions arose. It didn’t seem right to seek answers from those who had never gone this way so I sought out others on the same pilgrimage. Did minor mishaps become irrelevant to them? Were injustices more profound and virtue more desirable? Or were misfortunes exaggerated and selfishness given free reign? I needed to know.
Though their answers were as varied as the colors of this path my fellow travelers spoke with a passion no observer could ever understand. It was a passion that had been borne in me. Together we wished no one would ever be forced to come behind us. We prayed for short walks with favorable ends for all on the journey. We bonded. I clung to hope.
Encouragement from others pushed me forward. The curve ahead enticed me with promises of relief so my attention became one focus – reach its bend. With my goal attained I rounded the corner, and life turned upside down. A groan rose from my soul. Relief was too far away to see. Instead a valley dipped before me. One much lower than any I had ever traveled. My heart spoke truth as it revealed I must walk through the shadow of death. There was no where else to go. “Oh God”, I cried. “Be near me”, I prayed.
Light eventually overtook the shadow. Relief came. There before me was the end of my walk. Just as the Ribbon had appeared and set me on its path, it released me. My detour was over. A season ended. I had walked the path of the Ribbon and survived.