Foot Miles

Peggy Byland

Read: Matthew 4:23-25

And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. (v. 23)

DeTour Village, Michigan, has a total area of about 8 square miles, of which 3.5 square miles is land. During the three weeks I spent in DeTour, my dog Isa and I walked daily. Sometimes our walks were only to the recycling semi truck to recycle our paper and plastics and at other times we headed to the grocery store or marina. People who rely on their feet for moving about are very aware of “foot miles.”

Transportation in the time of Jesus was mainly on foot. Jesus walked in the countryside, by the Sea of Galilee, in the temple, and even on water. It was in those foot miles shared with other travelers that Jesus spoke of his mission, taught about God’s kingdom, healed people of various sicknesses, and made friends (and some enemies). And it was along those well-worn paths that Jesus found occasions for great joy and profound sadness.

The slower pace of foot traffic allowed Isa and me to see things: cars, trucks, an occasional dog Isa felt compelled to bark at, late-season boats coming and going from the harbor, people enjoying the fall weather on porches and decks, and, of course, the slow-moving, ever-present freighters. As we walked, I intentionally prayed for this tiny village and its inhabitants. Just as I’m sure Jesus did. —Peggy Byland

As you pray, ask the Lord for a Christ-centered life where thoughts and prayers are intentional.