Who is Your John the Baptist this Advent Season?

Thanks to Sister Nancy Gunderson for these insightful comments. 

Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight paths for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

     John the Baptist appeared preaching in the desert of Judea.  Amy appeared in my classroom, scrawny and petite.  Out of the desert of her life, she leaned against the wall, fighting sleep.

John’s voice cried out, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.  The one who is coming after me is mightier than I.  I am not worthy to carry his sandals.” Amy’s voice cried out through penetrating silence and sullen glances.

John wore clothing of camel’s hair.  Amy wore a loose-fitting hunting jacket, bright red lipstick and disheveled hair pulled mostly back from her face.

John called for the world to repent.  Amy and her family were homeless for eight months prior to moving to this college town.  She works the night shift at Wal-Mart, unloading trucks five nights a week, then comes directly to class.  Her efforts keep her family afloat as well as allow her to pursue an education. She writes in a paper that she appreciates what she has, because she has had to work for it.

In her own silent way, Amy is my John the Baptist.  She tells me to wake up, repent of my selfishness, to be more sensitive and to reach out.  Amy, the most unlikely student in my classroom, becomes my teacher, my herald.  She cries out to me, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”  And I know deep down those are the only paths that lead to the crib, where like the shepherds, only humble and open hearts can go.

Who is your John the Baptist this Advent?  Who must you go out to the desert to find?  Can you hear their cry?


Sister Nancy Gunderson


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