Prepare the Way - Sunday

Prepare | Mark 1:1-8
My dad built me a changing table.
For nine months, my mom watched her ankles swell and her belly grow.
For nine months, my dad would come home from work,
kiss her on her forehead—
Pressing bangs to skin—and tell her she was beautiful.
Then for nine months, he’d slip into the garage
To build sawdust sand castles and a dresser out of dreams.
I imagine she smiled, perched in that rocking chair.
He was in his woodshop, preparing the way.
Eighteen years later I left for college.
As I packed my bags, my mom baked blueberry muffins for the road—
the smell of home.
She wrapped them in foil and placed them in a cardboard box,
Willing similar layers of protection to be wrapped around me, her little girl.
She was preparing the way.
My aunts and uncles bought sweatshirts in my new school colors.
My dad taught me how to change a tire.
My mom gave me the earrings I’d been sneaking from her jewelry box
for the last four years.
I hid sticky-note love letters on the kitchen door for them to find
when they returned home.
We were quiet in the car.
My brother cried.
We were all preparing the way.
And through these moments, I have come to see,
That preparation and love can be the same thing.
For there is something about love that makes us want to prepare.
There is something about love that compels us to
Throw open the doors,
Yell it from the rooftop,
Set the table,
Decorate the nursery,
Leave love notes on the back door,
Build the changing table,
Trim the tree,
Bake muffins for the road,
And when it’s time,
If you must,
Let go.
Preparation and love can be the same thing.
Poem by Sarah Are
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