That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. (Mark 1:32-34).
Early morning in Capernaum the earth around Peter’s house was marked by many sandals. Last night’s events could be read in the footprints. The trail of a single shoe dragged along. The distinct imprint of a stick accompanying each footstep. The uneven markings of a blind person, indicating a groping movement toward one spot. Hundreds of sandal marks, some in patterns of four where men had carried a stretcher. Some bare footprints. All were the footprints of those searching hard for a miracle, for deliverance. Last night in this very spot around Peter the fisherman’s cottage, they found what they were looking for.
That morning Peter gazed at one distinctive pair of footprints cutting across the patterned terrain. A long time before daybreak Jesus had made these footprints as He moved toward some chosen spot of quiet rendezvous with His Father. Perhaps He was now in the crevice of a rock on the seashore, the constant rhythm of the sea on the beach accentuating His communal words.
It was this morning as it would be throughout the next three crowded years. People would follow Him with such anxious yearning, such intense needs, that He would have few undisturbed hours for meditation or reflection. The footprints of Jesus were those of a man who had much to do, and not much time in which to do it as He constantly crossed and crisscrossed the crowded ways of life.
He also walks across our crowded ways. If only people knew of His availability. The lonely soul in some spiritual Sahara would discover a relationship that would transform loneliness into shared companionship. Out of the crowded corridors of life would emerge one who would be there, not always to silence the turmoil of our despair, but to breathe tranquility into our sound-soaked settings.
When Peter found Him that morning, he said, “Everyone is looking for You”
(Mark 1:37) Jesus knew then, and knows now, that the strength He had already gathered before sunrise would be shared with that waiting world, available to all who need and call upon Him.
Arthur R. Pitcher, The War Cry