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Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Many years ago, the author Robert Louis Stevenson was stricken with a fatal illness. He sought rest and quiet in a favorable climate and chose a faraway island in the Pacific Ocean. He soon found conditions to be less than ideal there, for the native chiefs were constantly at war with each other.
Quarrels and disputes kept breaking out among them, but gradually Stevenson was able to solve these conflicts. By every kind act in his power he won their friendship , and soon he got them to settle their differences, teaching them how to be happy and at peace.
These people had never had such a friend before. The great novelist became their hero, and they longed to show him their gratitude. They had no money to buy gifts, but one of the natives said, "We can make him a wide, smooth pathway straight through the heart of the jungle that will lead to his land, because he has longed to have others come and visit him."
All agreed to start immediately on its construction. Today this inscription still appears over the entrance of that highway: "The Road of the Loving Heart," and just below it a plaque telling that it was built to please Stevenson because he had brought them joy and peace.
There is One greater than Stevenson who has also shown us His love, and through His sacrifice has brought eternal peace to our troubled hearts. In gratitude to Him, let's labor to prepare "the way of the Lord" for others, that through our lives and our words of testimony they may find easy access to our wonderful friend, Jesus our Lord. If we show them His grace, many will want to walk "The Road of the Loving Heart."
Louis Abel is pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.